Material Characterisation

PIs: Prof. Dr. Ullrich Pfeiffer (Universität Wuppertal), Dr. Jan Barowski (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Dr. André Froehly (Fraunhofer FHR)

One of the key research topics addressed by the various network partners is imaging material characterization. Research into electronic and photonic technologies for hardware components in the terahertz range is an important pillar of this. The previous work of the MARIE Collaborative Research Center (CRC) has a special role to play here. While primarily reflective measurement methods, taking surface effects into account, have been used to date, terahertz.NRW will now also focus on transmissive geometries, compact concepts, transceivers and algorithms for penetrating terahertz measurements of materials and solids, thereby addressing highly relevant new aspects in the field of material characterization.


The intended development from high-precision reflective imaging and material characterization in the CRC MARIE to a transmissive tomographic approach creates a link from semiconductor technology to photonic signal generation and signal processing and complements the work of the existing Collaborative Research Centre.


Transmittive tomographic imaging is currently used primarily in the medical field (ultrasound, X-ray CT, MRI) and in the security sector (X-ray CT). It is used when materials need to be penetrated and the properties of the material inside need to be determined. Millimeter wave and THz tomography still have a minor role to play here. However, if the use of ionizing X-rays is not appropriate or, in contrast to ultrasound, non-contact measurements with high dynamics are required, the use of THz radiation is an important alternative. This enables spectrally resolved images with manageable integrated systems.


One relevant area of application is the mapping of plant samples to investigate microstructures or nutrient transport in indoor farming modules. There are strong links here to the fields of medical technology and environmental monitoring. However, applications such as 3D material analysis (e.g. 3D metamaterials) or new methods of non-destructive testing can also be addressed by the Collaborative Research Center.


Thus, the possibilities of THz tomography in turn open up further fields of research that initiate new research projects, applications and spin-offs from the network. The joint work of scientists and students forms the decisive starting point for a sustainable and internationally visible research landscape in NRW.


Anmol Sharma

Office manager terahertz.NRW

Phone: +49 151 11607040


terahertz.NRW Transfer Office

Sascha Weyers, Fraunhofer IMS