Guided Terahertz Waves for Characterizing Explosives
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC ELECTRONICS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIV
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One of the most promising and discussed applications of terahertz THz spectroscopy is the detection of explosives materials through identification of their vibrational fingerprint spectra. While much progress has been made toward the measurement of THz vibrational fingerprints of explosives, fundamental issues remain to be addressed for THz sensing of explosives to reach its full potential. One issue is that line broadening mechanisms obscure the vibrational spectra of explosives, such that individual vibrational absorption lines merge into broad absorption features. Such line broadening makes identification of explosives more difficult and also impedes a full understanding of the origin of the vibrational fingerprint lines. A detailed scientific understanding of THz vibrational fingerprint spectra is necessary for their rational use in a database of threat materials. A second issue is that THz vibrational transitions tend to be about 100 times weaker relative to mid-infrared vibrational transitions. This emphasizes a need to develop methods to boost the sensitivity of THz measurements for explosives detection.
- Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors
- Ammunition and Explosives