In physics, terahertz radiation refers to electromagnetic waves sent at frequencies in the terahertz range. It is also referred to as submillimeter radiation, terahertz waves, terahertz light, T-rays, T-light, T-lux and THz. The term is normally used for the region of the electromagnetic spectrum between 300 gigahertz (3x1011 Hz) and 3 terahertz (3x1012 Hz), corresponding to the submillimeter wavelength range between 1 millimeter (high-frequency edge of the microwave band) and 100 micrometer (long-wavelength edge of far-infrared light). Like infrared radiation or microwaves, these waves usually travel in line of sight. Terahertz radiation is non-ionizing submillimeter microwave radiation and shares with microwaves the capability to penetrate a wide variety of non-conducting materials. Terahertz radiation can pass through clothing, paper, cardboard, wood, masonry, plastic and ceramics. It can also penetrate fog and clouds, but cannot penetrate metal or water. The Earth's atmosphere is a strong absorber of terahertz radiation, so the range of terahertz radiation is quite short, limiting its usefulness for communications. In addition, producing and detecting coherent terahertz radiation was technically challenging until the 1990s. Medical imaging:
Â¢ Terahertz radiation is non-ionizing, and thus is not expected to damage tissues and DNA, unlike X-rays. Some frequencies of terahertz radiation can penetrate several millimeters of tissue with low water content (e.g. fatty tissue) and reflect back. Terahertz radiation can also detect differences in water content and density of a tissue. Such methods could allow effective detection of epithelial cancer with a safer and less invasive or painful system using imaging.
Â¢ Some frequencies of terahertz radiation can be used for 3D imaging of teeth and may be more accurate and safer than conventional X-ray imaging in dentistry.
The terahertz region is between the radio frequency region and the optical region generally associated with lasers. Both the IEEE RF safety standard and the ANSI Laser safety standard have limits into the terahertz region, but both safety limits are based on extrapolation. It is expected that effects on tissues are thermal in nature and, therefore, predictable by conventional thermal models. Research is underway to collect data to populate this region of the spectrum and validate safety limits.
M.HAJI AHMEED MEERAN
THIRD YEAR ECE