School of Physics and Astrophysics

Terahertz research group

Further information


The Terahertz and Optical Technology research group is involved with developing and applying new technologies to a number of biomedical and other applications.

Our main focus is on terahertz imaging and spectroscopy.

What is Terahertz?

The Terahertz (THz) or submillimeter region of the electromagnetic spectrum lies on the border of where we perceive electronics and optics to meet. This 'borderline status' is one reason why these frequencies (0.1-10 THz) had been difficult to produce until relatively recently.

Microwaves are generated by using high-speed oscillating devices, while infrared is generated thermally or by other light sources. Infrared sources become very dim as we approach the THz region. However, the advances in femtosecond lasers have facilitated the convenient generation of short bursts of THz, opening up a new part of the spectrum for study.

In the late 1980s the first coherent pulses of THz had been demonstrated, but the field did not take off until the late 1990s when THz time domain spectroscopy and imaging was introduced. Now there is a large and still increasing number of research groups around the world working in this field and some commercial companies producing THz systems with applications in non-destructive testing, pharmaceutical science, chemistry, physics and biology.

Some of the key projects we are working on

  • Theoretical modelling of the interaction of terahertz radiation with biologic tissue
  • Modulation of Neurons with THz light
  • Assessment of Burns and Scars
  • Multi-modal imaging for improved cancer detection
  • Development of an Intra-Operative Tool for Tumour Margin Assessment During Surgery



This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 5 July, 2016 9:01 AM