Guided Wave THz Spectroscopy of Explosive Materials

  • Yoo, Byung-Hwa (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Kang, Seung-Beom (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Kwak, Min-Hwan (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Kim, Sung-Il (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Kim, Tae-Yong (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Ryu, Han-Cheol (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Jun, Dong-Suk (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Paek, Mun-Cheol (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Kang, Kwang-Yong (Dept. Terahertz Research Team, ETRI) ;
  • Chung, Dong-Chul (Dept. Of Electrical and Electronic Eng., Woosuk University)
  • Received : 2010.11.26
  • Accepted : 2011.03.17
  • Published : 2011.03.31


One of the important applications of THz time-domain spectroscopy (TDS) is the detection of explosive materials through identification of vibrational fingerprint spectra. Most recent THz spectroscopic measurements have been made using pellet samples, where disorder effects contribute to line broadening, which results in the merging of individual resonances into relatively broad absorption features. To address this issue, we used the technique of parallel plate waveguide (PPWG) THz-TDS to achieve sensitive characterization of three explosive materials: TNT, RDX, and HMX. The measurement method for PPWG THz-TDS used well-established ultrafast optoelectronic techniques to generate and detect sub-picosecond THz pulses. All materials were characterized as powder layers in 112 ${\mu}m$ gaps in metal PPWG. To illustrate the PPWG THz-TDS method, we described our measurement by comparing the vibrational spectra of the materials, TNT, RDX, and HMX, applied as thin powder layers to a PPWG, or in conventional sample cell form, where all materials were placed in Teflon sample cells. The thin layer mass was estimated to be about 700 ${\mu}g$, whereas the mass in the sample cell was ~100 mg. In a laboratory environment, the absorption coefficient of an explosive material is essentially based on the mass of the material, which is given as: ${\alpha}({\omega})=[ln(I_R({\omega})/I_S({\omega}))]m$. In this paper, we show spectra of 3 different explosives from 0.2 to 2.4 THz measured using the PPWG THz-TDS.


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