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Opt Express. 2008 May 12;16(10):7382-96.

Material thickness optimization for transmission-mode terahertz time-domain spectroscopy.

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  • 1School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. withawat@eleceng.adelaide.edu.au


The thickness of a sample material for a transmission-mode terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) measurement is the subject of interest in this paper. A sample that is too thick or too thin can raise the problem of measurement uncertainty. Although greater thickness allows the terahertz radiation--or T-rays--to interact more with bulk material, the SNR rolls off with thickness due to signal attenuation. A sample that is too thin renders itself nearly invisible to T-rays, in such a way that the system can hardly sense the difference between the sample and a free space path. The optimal trade-off is analyzed and revealed in this paper, where our approach is to find the optimal thickness that results in the minimal uncertainty of measured optical constants. The derived model for optimal thickness is supported by the results from experiments performed with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and lactose samples.

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