Terahertz (THz) technology has been demonstrated as a promising tool for detection of explosives and is being
developed for aviation screening and sensing of improvised explosive devices. THz radiation is attractive for many
applications due to its ability to penetrate through a wide range of dielectric materials including clothing, paper,
cardboard, plastics, and wood. Of course, metals block THz waves as is the case for microwave, IR, and visible light.
Our work has involved investigating the reflection spectroscopy of a variety of materials including explosives such as
RDX and PETN, plastic explosive taggants such as DMDNB, and other organic materials. We have also investigated the
changes of the reflection spectra in varying grades of sucrose. Spectral differences are observed between three grades of
crystalline sugar in the region from 0.1 to 1 THz. By exploiting the unique spectral features, the discrimination
capabilities of THz reflection spectroscopy points to the broad applicability of identifying a wide variety of materials.