Now the University of Dundee has launched a research partnership with a Lithuanian company to develop compact and efficient T-rays sources- using Terahertz technology - which could offer an alternative to some X-ray scans such as those carried out for security checks at airports.
"Terahertz work in the gap between optical light and microwaves and can penetrate many materials," said Professor Edik Rafailov, head of the Photonics and Nanoscience Group at the University of Dundee. "The THz frequencies -commonly referred to as T-rays - are non-ionising so have none of the inherent health risks which X-ray radiation can potentially cause.
"There are not currently many applications as the technology needed to use them is either too costly or impractical for most situations. What we are looking to do in this project is develop low-cost, low-energy laser sources based on nano-material technology, which would open up the use of THz scanners across a wide range of applications.
"These are potentially very attractive across medical and security applications as efficient, low-risk scanners."
The Photonics and Nanoscience Group at the University's School of Engineering and Physics will work with the Lithuanian laser manufacturing company Teravil to develop low-cost Terahertz (THz) laser sources.
The project, TERA is supported by a grant of over 1.1 million Euros through the EU's 7th Framework Programme, Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnership & Pathways scheme.
The aim of a Marie Curie IAPP project is the transfer of knowledge and know-how between industrial and academic partners. In the four-year partnership between Dundee and Teravil, researchers will be seconded between the two partners and the project will also arrange and host three workshops throughout its duration.
"This project will capitalise on the considerable strengths we at Dundee have in Laser Physics, Photonics and Medical Science and Technology, and Teravil's expertise in different aspects of THz," said Professor Rafailov. "It is an excellent example of academia and industry working together to develop exciting new technologies."
Provided by University of Dundee
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