Low Cost Continuous Wave Terahertz Spectrometer for Chemical-Biological Agent Detection

Period of Performance: 02/16/2010 - 08/30/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Princeton Nanotechnology Systems LLC
1 Deerpark Drive Suite L2
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Principal Investigator


We are proposing a continuous wave terahertz (THz-CW) spectroscopy system, composed of highly cost effective 1.55µ diode lasers derived from the telecommunications industry, in conjunction with photoconductive switch devices and antennas fabricated from InGaAs grown on InP substrates, coupled with a sensitive heterodyne detection system that is orders of magnitude more sensitive than the more common THz time domain spectrometry (THz-TDS) systems that exist today. The low cost THz-CW system will detect a wide range of analytes, ranging from biologicals and chemicals, through low vapor pressure chemical residues left by fingerprints on external surfaces by clandestine deployment, as well as trace vapor products from the deployed terror devices, which may have been covered by uncontaminated dust or debris, either purposefully or by normal traffic. This breakthrough technology device, including next-generation, ultra low power, FPGA-based DSP logic, advanced classifiers such as Support Vector Machines, Independent Component Analysis, and neural network analysis and integration subsystems, provides evolutionary leaps in sensor technology suitable for ubiquitous low cost distribution in domestic and military venues. The system will be field updateable and reconfigurable to address evolving threats, and will also serve as a development platform to other researchers for developing algorithms and techniques.