Terahertz Sensors for Industrial Automation

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Abstract-Methodology for materials analysis using swept-frequency feedback interferometry with terahertz frequency quantum cascade lasers

Thomas Taimre, Karl Bertling, Yah Leng Lim, Paul Dean, Dragan Indjin, and Aleksandar D. Rakić  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 15, pp. 18633-18647 (2014)
Recently, we demonstrated an interferometric materials analysis scheme at terahertz frequencies based on the self-mixing effect in terahertz quantum cascade lasers. Here, we examine the impact of variations in laser operating parameters, target characteristics, laser–target system properties, and the quality calibration standards on our scheme. We show that our coherent scheme is intrinsically most sensitive to fluctuations in interferometric phase, arising primarily from variations in external cavity length. Moreover we demonstrate that the smallest experimental uncertainties in the determination of extinction coefficients are expected for lossy materials.
© 2014 Optical Society of America

New Findings on Molecular Structures from RIKEN Summarized (Separation of overlapping vibrational peaks in terahertz spectra using two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy)


By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Investigators publish new report on Molecular Structures. According to news reporting out of Miyagi, Japan, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "In this study, the terahertz (THz) absorption spectra of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) were measured during isothermal crystallization at 90-120 degrees C. The temporal changes in the absorption spectra were analyzed using two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2DCOS). In the asynchronous plot, cross peaks were observed around 2.4 THz, suggesting that two vibrational modes overlap in the raw spectrum."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from RIKEN, "By comparing this to the peak at 2.9 THz corresponding to the stretching mode of the helical structure of PHB and the assignment obtained using polarization spectroscopy, we concluded that the high-frequency band could be attributed to the vibration of the helical structure and the low-frequency band to the vibration between the helical structures. The exact frequencies of the overlapping vibrational bands and their assignments provide a new means to inspect the thermal behavior of the intermolecular vibrational modes."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "The large red-shift of the interhelix vibrational mode suggests a large anharmonicity in the vibrational potential."
For more information on this research see: Separation of overlapping vibrational peaks in terahertz spectra using two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy. Journal of Molecular Structure, 2014;1069():152-156.Journal of Molecular Structure can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Bv, PO Box 211, 1000 Ae Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Journal of Molecular Structure - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/500850)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting H. HoshinaRIKEN, Aoba Ku, Sendai, Miyagi 9800845, Japan. Additional authors for this research include S. Ishii and C. Otani (see also Molecular Structures).
Keywords for this news article include: Miyagi, JapanAsia, Molecular Structures
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2014 NewsRx LLC

Abstract-Room temperature Si–Ti thermopile THz sensor

In this paper, we present the conception, fabrication and characterization of a thermopile designed to detect terahertz electromagnetic fields at room temperature. The thermopile is made of four doped silicon/titanium thermocouples. The absorber consists of a metallic grid made of titanium, deposited at the same time as the metal part of the thermocouples. The design of the grid is based on a theoretical multilayer model using equivalent resistivity and taking into account small diffraction effects. The grid is deposited on a 2.4 mm × 2.4 mm silicon nitride square membrane. The time constant of the sensor is measured at 0.3 THz to be 10 ms, which is consistent with finite elements simulations. The responsivity is evaluated at 4.8 μV/(W m−2). Due to a large impedance, which leads to a large Johnson noise, the noise equivalent power is 1.5 × 10−6 W Hz−1/2.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TSU and the UK National Physical Laboratory signed a general scientific cooperation agreement


July 23, 2014 - (PressReleasePoint) -
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the national measurement standards laboratory for the United Kingdom, based at Bushy Park in Teddington, London, England. It is the largest applied physics organisation in the UK. Five-year agreement includes joint research, scientific and technical information exchange, experts exchange, lectures and workshops.
- «Partnership is just beginning - said Valery Svetlichny, the head of the laboratory of new materials and advanced technologies SFTI. - Laboratory represents TSU. At this stage, TSU and the UK National Physical Laboratory conduct joint studies on physico-chemical, and nonlinear optical properties of some doped crystals GaSe, terahertz generation efficiency and its application to the study of natural objects. Also we plan the subjects expansion of scientific cooperation, exchange visits, joint participation in Russian and international scientific programs, the creation of a joint laboratory».
According to the words of Vice-Rector for International Affairs Artem Rykun, TSU cooperation with the leading research centers has great importance.
- TSU and the UK National Physical Laboratory cooperate not only with the universities, but also with large observatories or laboratories on a par with the universities. The good example is the National Physical Laboratory. Its importance should be assessed, first of all, by professionals in this field. But this is exactly the place where science is concentrated – he added. - It is notable that that the British laboratories are extremely reluctant to establish a new contact. Before starting cooperation they are looking closely at the potential partner. And the contract is a sign that you are perceived in the scientific community as a really serious partner. Therefore the agreement of TSU and NPL is not just a protocol or formality but the real business agreement.

Commentary:Searching for financial information on THz companies

MY NOTE: The following commentary, is all my opinion-and I stand ready to correct any inaccuracy.

The commercialization of terahertz continues to be painfully slow and the promised financial rewards for the investment community arising from this virgin technology remain somewhere on the far horizon. Finding out information about the players in this field, is much like pulling teeth. Every aspect of most companies efforts in THz is super-secret, and viable information about actually sales, and profits is very difficult to find. 

Advanced Photonix/Picometrix (API), continues to be the only discernible company that has a demonstrable "foot-print," in the THz industrial process control market, having made multiple sales of it's T-Gauge to companies in a variety of industries, including paper, plastics, roofing materials,carpet, nutraceuticals, submarine hulls for the US Navy, and inspection of the paint and components on the USAF F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Of course the company has previously made sales to NASA for inspection of the tiles on the Space Shuttle, and upon the hydrogen tanks on rocket boosters, along with a host of other earlier applications.

I'm sure there have to be more companies actually making sales in the industrial market, but I can't find any indication this is so. If your company is making such sales please send me some facts and figures. Providing me with details isn't necessary but I would like to know and share with readers an idea of the industries in which companies are supplying THz commercially, along with an approximate range of contract size and sales. API shares this information, because it's required to do so, as a publicly traded company.

Teraview, which self-proclaims to be at the forefront of global development of THz, is a privately held company so financial information regarding it's sales is difficult to locate and verify. The company indicates it has made terahertz "sales" in 33 countries, but the nature and scope of those sales is difficult to discern from the limited information that is available online. If anyone has additional concerning the nature of these sales, would you please share it with me? This recent press release illustrates the limited extent of information typically found online.


Cambridge, UK – 12 March 2014 - TeraView has secured the sale of its first machine into Africa with an order from the National Research Centre in Egypt. Selected for its quality, flexibility and ease of use, it is the first turn-key terahertz unit in Africa and is an increasing sign of the globalization of the company's technology.
“We are obviously pleased with the continued spread of the technology,” said CEO Don Arnone. “We now have machines operating in over 33 countries. Users, in industry and academia, are increasingly seeing the potential of the technology and we continue to rise to the challenge of producing equipment that meets their needs."
"Like many, we also believe in the potential of Africa and see this sale as a first step in developing partnerships that can help this potential be realized."

Additionally, Teraview points to many "firsts" in the development of THz, on it's webpage, however, concrete evidence of commercial sales, or the size of such sales, can't readily be found.


TeraView Limited is at the forefront of global developments in terahertz light, creating terahertz instruments which can generate, detect and manipulate radiation to characterise a wide range of materials

innovation at TeraViewTeraView is the world's first innovator of such terahertz imaging and terahertz spectroscopy systems, with over two decades of experience in the field. TeraView's co-founders, Sir Michael Pepper (CSO) and Dr. Don Arnone (CEO), developed the TPI™ platform after working in the field of sourcing and detecting terahertz light. The company's expertise in designing and manufacturing reliable and robust THz sources enables customers to realize the potential of terahertz radiation and solve real-world problems.
Uniquely, the company has a wealth of experience in both the technology to generate, detect and manipulate terahertz light. Our extraordinary breadth and depth of knowledge in applications of the technology in different markets to solve real world problems for our customers. Both of these attributes are represented in our product offering to customers, as well as an impressive intellectual property portfolio that builds considerable value for the company. The result is our proprietary TPI™ platform that can be configured to meet a variety of end-user needs across a number of industries.

TeraView world firsts:

  • 1st to apply Terahertz in biomedical imaging
  • 1st to image diseased tissue (dental caries)
  • 1st to image cancer using Terahertz
  • 1st to measure patients in clinic in vivo using Terahertz
TeraView was spun-out of Toshiba Research Europe in April, 2001 by its co-founders, Sir Michael Pepper (CSO) and Dr. Don Arnone (CEO), to exploit the intellectual property and expertise developed in sourcing and detecting terahertz (THz=1012Hz) radiation, using innovative technologies. Leading industry proponents of the technology sit on our Advisory Board, and TeraView maintains close links with the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where modern terahertz technology was pioneered in conjunction with the team at TeraView, and where professor Pepper, has held the position of Professor of Physics since 1987.
The following link is the only information regarding Teraviews financial situation that I could locate online. I don't know that these figures are accurate, and if they are inaccurate, once again, I would appreciate receiving the correct figures. 

Frankly, I would be shocked if the numbers posted below, are correct. These numbers would appear to only evidence very, very modest sales, but perhaps and as I have noted,  they may be inaccurate or incomplete. I'm hoping the folks at Teraview will share additional information with me, so I can share it with readers. 

[For purposes of comparison Advanced Photonix, has an annual income which approaches 30 million dollars, with 18 million dollars of sales in Tests and Measurement for 2014, with modest projected growth in 2015, a majority of which will come from THz sales. (Source: API, 10K, Annual Report page 37).] 

API, has spent over 30 million dollars to date in developing it's current commercially hardened robust Terahertz units.

I hope to follow up from time to time with financial information I am able to locate online on other companies involved in THz development. Let's hope that the market for Terahertz products blossoms in the way they are predicted to, and that all of the currrent THz companies help foster and grow the industrial markets and commercialization of Terahertz. 

Now, here's what I found on Teraview:


Key Data
Company NameTeraview Limited
CategoryPrivate Limited Company
Company Number04126946
Registered AddressPlatinum Building St Johns Innovation Park
Cowley Road
Country OriginUnited Kingdom
Incorporation Date18 December 2000
Company Age13 years and 7 months
Latest Returns18 December 2013   (6 months ago)
Next Returns Due15 January 2015   (5 months left)
Latest Accounts30 April 2013   (1 year and 2 months ago)
Next Accounts Due31 January 2015   (6 months left)
Accounts CategoryGroup
Part Satisfied0
Full Satisfied2
Previous Names
Legislator 1513 LimitedChanged on 19 February 2001
Classification (SIC)
Manufacture of electronic industrial process control equipment (26512)
Technical testing and analysis (71200
Cash In Bank
Current Liabilities
Total Assets
Net Worth
 Balance Sheet
Tangible Assets£100,000
TOTAL ASSETS£2,536,000
Amounts falling due within one year

POSTSCRIPT:   Since posting, I received the following financial information from a reader relating to Teraview which I assume  to be accurate: