Time-Domain Terahertz Imaging of Layered Dielectric Structures with Interferometry-Enhanced Sensitivity
This article presents a time-domain imaging technique for layered dielectric slabs using a solid-state wavelet generator with subterahertz carrier frequency. The technique utilizes the dual nature of a wavelet, i.e., both the applicability of time-of-flight measurements and the ability of wavelets to interfere in thin dielectric layers at a carrier frequency that is preserved in spite of the ultrawideband character of the signal. This results in a very high sensitivity of the time delay of the resultant pulse to variations in the effective thickness (thickness × refractive index) of the dielectric layer. It is shown using a plane-wave analysis of the pulse propagation that under certain conditions, this sensitivity enhancement can reach an order of magnitude. The experimental setup for the reflection-mode operation is described and its performance in the discrimination of healthy and malignant tissues and in the detection of corrosion under paint is demonstrated.