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NUS develops terahertz emitters for fast and non-invasive screening

Kareyst Lin | Feb. 2, 2017
The invention presents promising applications in spectroscopy, safety surveillance, cancer diagnosis, imaging and communication.

Associate Professor Yang Hyunsoo (right) and Dr Wu Yang from the NUS Faculty of Engineering and NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute. Credit: NUS

The research team at National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Engineering and NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute has developed high performance and low-power driven terahertz (THz) emitters that could be mass-produced at low cost.

These THz emitters, which are used for the generation of THz waves, can also function on flexible surfaces without compromising on performance. This addresses a critical challenge for the industrial application of THz technology, NUS said in a press statement on 31 January 2017.

The invention was achieved in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering under Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR IMRE), as well as Tongji University in China.

"Our invention is a big step forward in THz technology and we believe that this will greatly accelerate its application in various fields," said Associate Professor Yang Hyunsoo, who leads the team. "For example, in the area of safety surveillance, our invention can contribute towards miniaturisation of bulky THz systems to be used in the detection of dangerous chemicals and explosives for protection against hostile threats."

"Affordable and high performance THz screening devices could also improve disease diagnosis and benefit patients. Furthermore, fabricating our device on a flexible surface also opens up many exciting possibilities for it to be incorporated into wearable devices," added Yang.

Moving forward, the team plans to build a compact spectroscopy system using THz technology based on its advanced THz emitters. The researchers are also looking into enhancing THz emission for specific wavelengths, which will be beneficial for a wide range of THz-related studies and applications.

The research team has filed a patent for the invention and hopes to work with industry partners to further explore various applications of this novel technology. 


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