Abstract

Terahertz (THz) science and technology have greatly progressed over the past two decades to a point where the THz region of the electromagnetic spectrum is now a mature research area with many fundamental and practical applications. Furthermore, THz imaging is positioned to play a key role in many industrial applications, as THz technology is steadily shifting from university-grade instrumentation to commercial systems. In this context, the objective of this review is to discuss recent advances in THz imaging with an emphasis on the modalities that could enable real-time high-resolution imaging. To this end, we first discuss several key imaging modalities developed over the years: THz transmission, reflection, and conductivity imaging; THz pulsed imaging; THz computed tomography; and THz near-field imaging. Then, we discuss several enabling technologies for real-time THz imaging within the time-domain spectroscopy paradigm: fast optical delay lines, photoconductive antenna arrays, and electro-optic sampling with cameras. Next, we discuss the advances in THz cameras, particularly THz thermal cameras and THz field-effect transistor cameras. Finally, we overview the most recent techniques that enable fast THz imaging with single-pixel detectors: mechanical beam-steering, compressive sensing, spectral encoding, and fast Fourier optics. We believe that this critical and comprehensive review of enabling hardware, instrumentation, algorithms, and potential applications in real-time high-resolution THz imaging can serve a diverse community of fundamental and applied scientists.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (2)

NameDescription
» Visualization 1       THz imaging with a time-domain spectroscopy system. Image constructed with the amplitude of the electric field as a function of time.
» Visualization 2       THz imaging with a time-domain spectroscopy system. Image constructed with the amplitude and phase of the electric field as a function of frequency.

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