Terahertz tomography

Grant program: AiF-IGF

Terahertz tomography is an imaging method allowing non-destructive testing of materials, especially plastics or ceramics. The THz range includes frequencies between 0.1 and 10 THz, i.e. it is right between infrared light and microwave radiation. Due to the large wave length the lateral spatial resolution is quite limited. This can be overcome by time-resolved depth information (analoguous to ultrasound techniques) yielding a high resolution in the propagation direction as well. In the project we develop new mathematical models as well as numerical solution methods for parameter identification problems.


The goal of the project is to combine lateral and longitudinal resolution and thus to further increase the measurement's spatial resolution. In cooperation with German Plastics Center (SKZ) in Würzburg a commerical THz tomograph for small to medium enterprises is under development. The system is to be realized at SKZ where it is used for experimental measurements and material characterisations.

The work group of Prof. Dr. Schuster is working on setting up simulations of the propagation of THz signals as a basis for the development of suitable reconstruction algorithms and for the optimization of sender-receiver setups. Another focus is to develop efficient, numerical, hybrid schemes for the reconstruction that take into account the pecularities of the THz technology and also the simultaneous evaluation of transmitted and reflected THz waves for an increased resolution.


The German Plastics Center SKZ is a neutral and independent institution. It focuses on research, testing, management certification, and training of specialists and executives on the field of plastics. The SKZ is a reliable partner in research and development for the plastics industry. To answer increasing demands in the areas of research, validation, inspection of new production procedures and non-destructive testing, a new business field of "Messtechnik" (metrology) has been initiated.
Further information can be found at www.skz.de.