Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Checking people at airports – with terahertz radiation

18.09.2008
PTB succeeds in absolute measurement of terahertz radiation

Within the last few years the number of transport checks – above all at airports – has been increased considerably. A worthwhile effort as, after all, it concerns the protection of passengers.

Possibilities for new and safe methods of checking people are offered by terahertz radiation. Before this radiation can be used for this purpose, however, it has to be measured quantitatively, so that damage to health caused by radiation can be ruled out. The exact measurement of this type of radiation has now been successfully undertaken by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the German national metrology institute, for the first time.

Radiation in the THz range (with wavelengths from 30 µm to 3000 µm and frequencies from 0.1 THz to 10 THz) penetrates clothing and many other organic materials and furthermore offers spectroscopic information on safety-relevant materials such as explosives and pharmacological substances. The broad spectrum of the possible applications extends from security check to the investigation of the spatial and/or time structure of the electron packages in the storage rings for synchrotron radiation production and in free-electron lasers, for which the receivers of the German Electron Synchrotron DESY characterized here are used.

The complete information on the THz spectra can only be determined with detectors of known spectral responsivity. Up to now, the integral responsivity of the respective detectors and their spectral distribution are still largely unknown. The PTB has now for the first time determined the spectral responsivities of two THz detectors in the wavelength range from 50 µm to 600 µm with the aid of cavity radiators.

In order to make available spectral radiation fluxes in the THz range, calculable according to Planck's radiation law, the PTB uses two THz cavity radiators at different temperatures in connection with THz band and longwave-pass filters. The interior surfaces of the radiators are provided with a special coating which possesses a known and high emissivity also in the THz range and thus enables the calculability of the radiation incident on the detector. In order to obtain a sufficiently spectral purity of the THz radiation, a suppression of the infrared radiation of more than nine orders of magnitude is necessary.

By using an FT-IR spectrometer, the transmittance for all filter combinations used was accurately determined in the wavelength range from 0.8 µm to 1700 µm. Due to the calculable radiation of the cavity radiators and the known transmittance of the filters, it is possible to accurately determine the spectral radiation fluxes and thus determine the spectral absolute responsivities of THz receivers for the first time. Such absolutely characterized receivers will in future be utilized, e.g., both at the Metrology Light Source of the PTB to investigate the THz radiation produced there and in the investigation of the effect of THz radiation on the biological cell cycle.

PTB Contact:
Berndt Gutschwager,
E-Mail: berndt.gutschwager@ptb.de,
phone: +49 (30) 3481-7323

Imke Frischmuth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ptb.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>