The terahertz (THz) frequency region is often defined as the last unexplored area of the electromagnetic spectrum. Over the past few years, the full access has been the objective of intense research efforts. Progress in this area has played an important role in opening up the possibility of using THz electromagnetic radiation (T-waves) in science and in real-world applications. T-waves are not perceptible by the human eye, are not ionizing, and have the ability to cross many non-conducting materials such as paper, fabrics, wood, plastic, and organic tissues. Moreover, the use of THz radiation allows non-destructive analysis of the materials under investigation both by study of their “fingerprint” via spectroscopic measurements and by high-resolution spatial imaging operations, exploiting the see-through capability of T-waves. Such technology can be applied in diverse areas, spanning from biology to chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental sciences, etc. In this chapter, we will present the typical architecture of measurement systems based on the THz technology, detailing what are the parameters that define their performance, the measurement methods, and the related errors and uncertainty, and focusing at the end on the use of time-domain spectroscopy for the evaluation of different material properties in this specific frequency region.
Part of the book: New Trends and Developments in Metrology