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Terahertz Frequency Sensing and Imaging: A Time of Reckoning Future Applications?

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4 Author(s)
Woolard, D.L. ; US Army Res. Office, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA ; Brown, E.R. ; Pepper, Michael ; Kemp, M.

In recent years, the field of terahertz (THz) science and technology has entered a completely new phase of unprecedented expansion that is generating ever growing levels of broad-based international attention. In particular,there have been important advances in state-of-the-art THz technology and very enthusiastic growth in research activities associated with related scientific and industrial applications. One can legitimately argue that the potential payoffs of THz sensing and imaging (THz S&I) to application areas such as defense, security, biology and medicine are the major drivers of this new phenomenon. However, there remain major science and technology "gaps" in the THz regime that must be reconciled before many of the perceived payoffs ever become realizable. Therefore, it is natural to ask the question "Is now the time for THz?" or rather, are these recent events just a repeat of previous cycles in THz overenthusiasm that have been witnessed during the last century? The main goal of this paper is to consider some of the most promising THz S&I applications within the specific context of their particular science and technology challenges in an attempt to credibly judge (or speculate on) their future potential.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:93 ,  Issue: 10 )