Generation and detection of pulsed T-Rays for use in the study of biological and bio-terrorism issues
Terahertz (T-Rays) spectroscopy has recently emerged as a powerful method to access a heretofore barely explored region of the electromagnetic spectrum where fundamental molecular resonances occur. Besides their importance for fundamental research, these resonances could be used as signatures in the identification of molecular species and as sensitive probes in a wide variety of molecular processes. In this paper we consider the potential of THz spectroscopy in the application to relevant biomedical and homeland security problems such as the analysis of normal and diseased tissues and the detection of toxic biomolecules. As examples, we present preliminary experimental data which suggest that THz spectroscopy 1)can discriminate between cancerous and normal tissue, and 2) can reveal the presence of foreign substances hidden in an envelope and even allow their specific identification. This capability is of particular relevance as a straifghtforward homeland security tool for the detection of anthrax and other biotoxic molecules.