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Open AccessArticle

Laser Feedback Interferometry as a Tool for Analysis of Granular Materials at Terahertz Frequencies: Towards Imaging and Identification of Plastic Explosives

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School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
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School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
3
School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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School of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Sensors 2016, 16(3), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16030352
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 9 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrared and THz Sensing and Imaging)
We propose a self-consistent method for the analysis of granular materials at terahertz (THz) frequencies using a quantum cascade laser. The method is designed for signals acquired from a laser feedback interferometer, and applied to non-contact reflection-mode sensing. Our technique is demonstrated using three plastic explosives, achieving good agreement with reference measurements obtained by THz time-domain spectroscopy in transmission geometry. The technique described in this study is readily scalable: replacing a single laser with a small laser array, with individual lasers operating at different frequencies will enable unambiguous identification of select materials. This paves the way towards non-contact, reflection-mode analysis and identification of granular materials at THz frequencies using quantum cascade lasers. View Full-Text
Keywords: terahertz imaging; interferometry; semiconductor lasers, quantum cascade; optical constants terahertz imaging; interferometry; semiconductor lasers, quantum cascade; optical constants
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Han, S.; Bertling, K.; Dean, P.; Keeley, J.; Burnett, A.D.; Lim, Y.L.; Khanna, S.P.; Valavanis, A.; Linfield, E.H.; Davies, A.G.; Indjin, D.; Taimre, T.; Rakić, A.D. Laser Feedback Interferometry as a Tool for Analysis of Granular Materials at Terahertz Frequencies: Towards Imaging and Identification of Plastic Explosives. Sensors 2016, 16, 352.

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