III-V Based Focal Plane Arrays for Video-Rate Terahertz Imaging

Period of Performance: 11/30/2009 - 11/30/2011


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Traycer Diagnostic Systems, Inc.
1275 Kinnear Road Suite 211
Columbus, OH 43212
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

The Ohio State University
1330 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
Institution POC


Owing to a unique set of intellectual property and core expertise, this Phase II team, led by Traycer Diagnostic Systems, will build and characterize a packaged, 16x16 terahertz focal plane array (FPA) for broadband video-rate imaging at frequencies up to 1.3 THz. Traycer s competitive advantage is based on its record-performing detectors, novel antennas, and array architectures that permit a direct-detect mechanism and enable the proposed device s unique capabilities. The realization of the goals outlined in this proposal positions Traycer for competing in the large application space enabled by this FPA. This space includes a broad array of applications of interest to the Department of Defense and the commercial marketplace, including but not limited to, non-destructive evaluation, communications, and security screening. This effort leverages experts in physics, semiconductor devices, antennas and electromagnetics, electronics, and test and measurement towards the development of the proposed invention. BENEFIT: Traycer has validated a market of over $100MM for sales of its FPAs alone (i.e., not including specific application development). In addition to military applications, a considerable commercial opportunity exists for the development of THz component technology. A vast amount of underutilized spectral information exists in the terahertz regime. TDS FPAs allow access to this valuable information. From a security standpoint, there are a number of chemical signatures for common explosives and both legal and illegal drugs. Additionally, since many non-metallic, non-polar materials do not absorb THz radiation, terahertz spectroscopy is of interest for the evaluation of materials through packaging. The NDE of materials by THz radiation has numerous military and civilian applications, and is currently being used to evaluate insulating foam tiles on the space shuttle. Terahertz radiation is also of interest for medical applications. The relatively low photon energies of terahertz radiation provide significant advantages over conventional x-ray methods for cancer detection. Non-ionizing terahertz imaging can elicit dielectric contrast information and indirectly recognize the chemical composition of material under study, allowing for passive mapping of material composition for use in the high-resolution, non-destructive evaluation of biologic and non-biologic samples.