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THZ Imaging

Published on 11 March 2021


Array detectors in the THz waveband based on antenna-coupled microbolometers


   What is CEA-Leti's THz device?

Building on its thermal infrared bolometric technology, CEA-Leti developed smart detectors that enable THz real-time imaging in the most effective way, similar to visible-light digital cameras. CEA-Leti’s THz imaging technology is unique. It relies on a patented bolometer architecture in which optical collection is provided by crossed bow-tie antennas combined with a quarterwavelength dielectric cavity. THz waves collected by these antennas are then converted into heat and detected by a thermo-resistive layer derived from CEA-Leti and ULIS’s mature bolometer technology.

   Applications:

THz radiation can translate into various commercial applications:
  • Non-destructive testing for various industrial fields: food/agriculture, pharmaceutical products, semiconductors, automotive, etc.
  • Defence and security: people screening, luggage control, etc.
  • Remote spectral analysis in waste sorting or cultural-heritage diagnosis
  • Biology and medicine—dermatology, biochips, etc.

   Key advantages:

  • Room temperature operation, compactness and video output
  • Full compatibility with silicon technology manufacturing process
  • Low-cost and high production yield
  • Broadband spectral absorption
  • Millimetric or submillimetric resolution
  • May be customized with innovative pixel and array architecture: frequency range, polarization, etc.


   Key figures :

  • Large format: 320 x 240 pixels
  • Pixel pitch: 50 μm
  • Spectral range: 0.3 THz-4THz (optimized for 1-3 THz)
  • NEP @2.5 THz: 20 pW
  • Frame rate: 25 Hz


   THz radiation: 

Terahertz (THz) band loosely denotes the spectral region 0.3-10 THz (1 mm - 30 μm).

Electromagnetic waves in this band uniquely combine very interesting properties:

  • Sees through matter: Penetration through non-polar materials such as fabric, ceramic, plastic, leather and cardboard
  • Monitors water content: High sensitivity to polar molecules
  • Identifies materials like chemicals, explosives, etc.
  • Specific spectral signatures of many gases, liquids and solids
  • Safer than X-ray: Low-energy, non-ionizing radiation


   How do we work together?


         Flyer 

  • flyer
    (200 Ko)

©Ingo Bartussek/AdobeStock.com

©CEA

3D Thz tomography of a screw
inside a piece of teflon
©CEA