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Durham e-Theses
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Propagation of terahertz radiation in non-homogeneous materials and structures

Swift, George Peter (2008) Propagation of terahertz radiation in non-homogeneous materials and structures. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The work undertaken is concerned with looking at how terahertz frequency radiation (here defined as 300 GHz -10 THz) propagates through media which have a random structure ("non-homogeneous materials"). Materials of this type are important in a wide range of applications, but are of particular interest in security and surveillance. Propagation of terahertz radiation through non-homogeneous materials is not well understood: both interference and scattering effects become important in this spectral range, where the wavelength and size and separation of the scattering centres are often commensurable. A simple model, which uses the phase change of a wave to describe its transmission through media having relatively small changes in refractive index is developed and compared with both exact theories and experimentally obtained measurements. Overall, a satisfactory agreement between the experimental data for transmission through arrays of cylinders, textiles and powders is seen. It is well known that pulses of terahertz radiation from optoelectronic sources have a complex shape. Post detection signal processing routines can be used to clean up the experimentally determined signals. The development of such algorithms is described, before they are applied to experimental results to determine: the minimum size of gaps between slabs to mimic voids in media; and the response of various compounds to a sharply terminated input pulse. The investigation of scattering from random structures requires the construction of a spectrometer having the capability to measure THz pulses scattered at different angles. Such a system ideally requires fibre-fed detection schemes to be used. The construction of a scattering spectrometer is described and its performance outlined. Pulses of terahertz which have been scattered by a sample of interest can be reconstructed, using methods from conventional tomography, to produce images of the phantom under test. Such measurements are outlined here. To our knowledge, this is the first time that tomography has been undertaken using a fixed sample and rotating detector arrangement.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:28

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