Scientists of the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a convenient portable terahertz scanning device based on carbon nanotubes . Recall, the spectrum of THz radiation is located between the infrared and microwave bands.
It is expected that the device will have a wide range of applications, including non-invasive studies of hard and soft tissues, including cancer cells, blood clots, sweat glands, teeth. Also, there is an application in tomography and when creating medical equipment for drug delivery.
Medical terahertz devices are a promising direction of diagnostics for non-invasive control of human tissues. However THz waves are poorly visualized and reproduce curvilinear contours of three-dimensional objects. In addition, THz devices used for scanning at airports rotate around the person, which makes them very cumbersome, in particular because they are made of materials that require cooling during operation.
To solve this problem, Japanese scientists used arrays of carbon nanotubes, effectively operating at room temperature. On their basis photoreceivers were created that operate in the visible, infrared and THz ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum.
In the future, researchers expect that the use of their THz scanner will expand the possibilities of non-invasive inspections of pharmaceuticals, quality control and medical monitoring.