Development of correction algorithm for pulsed terahertz computed tomography (THz-CT)

Abstract

For last couple of decades, there has been a considerable improvement in Terahertz (THz) science, technology, and imaging. In particular, the technique of 3-D computed tomography has been adapted to the THz range. However, it has been widely recognized that a fundamental limitation to THz computed tomography imaging is the refractive effects of the sample under study. The finite refractive index of materials in the THz range can severally refract THz beams which probe the internal structure of a sample during the acquisition of tomography data. Refractive effects lead to anomalously high local absorption coefficients in the reconstructed image near the material’s boundaries. Three refractive effects are identified: (a) Fresnel reflection power losses at the boundaries, (b) an increase in path length of the probing THz radiation, and (c) steering of the THz beam by the sample such that the emerging THz radiation is no longer collected by the THz detector. In addition, the finite size of the THz beam dominates the measured THz transmission when the edges of the sample are probed using THz tomography. These boundary phenomena can dominate in the reconstructed THz-CT images making it difficult to distinguish any hidden finer structural defect(s) inside the material. In this dissertation, an algorithm has been developed to remove these refractive and finite beam size effects from THz-CT reconstructed images. The algorithm is successfully implemented on cylindrical shaped objects. A longer term goal of the research is to study the internal structure of natural cork wine stoppers by pulsed Terahertz tomography (THz-CT). It has previously been shown that THz imaging can detect the internal structure of natural cork. Moreover, the internal structure of natural cork stoppers dominates the diffusion of gasses and liquids through the cork. By using THz computed tomography, one can recreate a 3D image of the sample’s internal structure which could then be used to predict non-destructively the diffusion properties of the cork. However, refractive and boundary effects which arise in the THz tomographic image masks the presence of the cork’s internal structure. Applying the correction algorithms which are developed in this dissertation to natural cork stoppers suppresses the refractive and boundary anomalies enabling better visualization of the cork’s internal structure

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