SEPTEMBER 30, 2009--Advantest (Tokyo, Japan; www.advantest.com) announced that it has developed what it says is the world's first terahertz (THz) wave imaging system for 3-D analysis and inspection. The system is the first product developed within the framework of Advantest's New Concept Product Initiative and is expected to form a cornerstone of the company's new business strategy. Anticipating diverse industrial applications, Advantest will be exploring THz applications in fields including industrial materials, medicine, biotechnology, and security.
Located between radio and optical emissions, THz waves have frequencies ranging from a few tens GHz to 100 THz. These electromagnetic waves possess properties including absorption spectra (also known as fingerprint spectra) that enable them to penetrate visually opaque materials. In addition, their spatial resolution is suitable for practical spectroscopic imaging applications. However, basic techniques for THz generation, detection, and measurement, until recently, had not been developed for commercial use, hampering the exploration of practical applications for terahertz wave technology.
The Advantest Terahertz Wave 3D Imaging System integrates the company's expertise in optical and electronic measurement with its newly developed, proprietary femtosecond fiber laser technology, as well as imaging technology developed by Advantest in collaboration with Kodo Kawase of Nagoya University. The system capabilities include nondestructive visual analysis of the spatial distribution, chemical identification, and quantification of constituents of the material under inspection such as ceramics or plastics.
The system's high-speed reflection-transmission measurement function allows probing for specific substances within a sample under inspection and providing 3-D images, and facilitating analysis of the spatial distribution of constituents or structural defects within the sample. In industrial applications, THz imaging enables a level of analysis that is not possible with microwave, infrared, X-ray, or ultrasonic techniques.
In the realms of medicine and biotechnology, potential applications for THz imaging include crystal polymorphism and ingredient analysis. Advantest is in the process of developing chemical and industrial applications for the new system, and is engaged in continuing research, in partnership with customers, to further expand the scope of new applications.
For more information, go to: http://www.advantest.co.jp/news/press-2009/20090917/en-index.shtml
-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com