Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

Real-Time High Resolution THz Imaging with a Fiber-Coupled Photo Conductive Antenna and an Uncooled Microbolometer Camera.

Zolliker, P.; Shalaby, M.; Söllinger, E.; Mavrona, E.; Hack, E.
Sensors 2021, 21, 3757. (2021)
We present a real-time THz imaging method using a commercial fiber-coupled photo conductive antenna as the THz source and an uncooled microbolometer camera for detection. This new combination of state-of-the-art components is very adaptable due to its compact and uncooled radiation source, whose fiber coupling allows for a flexible placement. Using a camera with high sensitivity renders real-time imaging possible. As a proof-of-concept, the beam shape of a THz Time Domain Spectrometer was measured. We demonstrate real time imaging at nine frames per second and show its potential for practical applications in transmission geometry covering both material science and security tasks. The results suggest that hidden items, complex structures and the moisture content of (biological) materials can be resolved. We discuss the limits of the current setup, possible improvements and potential (industrial) applications, and we outline the feasibility of imaging in reflection geometry or extending it to multi-spectral imaging using band pass filters.