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Type: Journal article
Title: Chemical recognition with broadband THz spectroscopy
Author: Fischer, B.
Helm, H.
Jepsen, P.
Citation: Proceedings of the IEEE, 2007; 95(8):1592-1604
Publisher: IEEE-Inst Electrical Electronics Engineers Inc
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0018-9219
Abstract: THz science is developing rapidly in Europe as well as the rest of the world. There is a strong interest in the exploitation of optical technologies in the THz frequency range in virtually all fields of basic and applied sciences of physics, chemistry, biology as well as medicine. Commercial interest in this field has also been growing, spurred by the potential of THz tools in quality control and the biotechnology sector. We will review some contrast mechanisms, which form the basis for real-world applications of THz technology, in particular in the fields of applied chemistry and biotechnology. Whereas narrow bandwidth THz technology may become important for, e.g., real-time imaging at larger standoff distances, we will concentrate on broad bandwidth THz technologies for spectroscopic identification of various substances. It has recently been established that the 0.1-5 THz spectral range contains unique fingerprints of a very large number of crystalline materials, including explosives, illicit drugs as well as most other chemicals in powder form. Since many packaging materials are transparent to THz radiation this fundamental property of crystalline compounds allows remote (contact- free) sensing combined with chemical recognition. On the other hand, the THz spectrum of amorphous systems, including aqueous solutions, contains very little information about the detailed composition of the system. However, under certain conditions it is still possible to learn a great deal about amorphous systems with broadband THz spectroscopy. Amorphous systems of great biotechnological importance include DNA and proteins, both in aqueous solution and as dried matter. We will discuss methods for THz science and technology to attack the very complex problems involved in the extraction of useful new information, which may be difficult, expensive, or impossible to obtain with other methods, from minute amounts of biomaterial.
Description: Copyright © 2007 IEEE
RMID: 0020073192
DOI: 10.1109/JPROC.2007.898904
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering publications

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