Terahertz (THz) frequency band lies between the microwave and infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Molecules having strong resonances in this frequency range are ideal for realizing "Terahertz tags" which can be easily incorporated into various materials. THz spectroscopy of molecules, especially at frequencies below 10 THz, provides valuable information on the low frequency vibrational modes, viz. intermolecular vibrational modes, hydrogen bond stretching, torsional vibrations in several chemical and biological compounds. So far there have been very few attempts to engineer molecules which can demonstrate customizable resonances in the THz frequency region. In this paper, Diamidopyridine (DAP) based molecules are used as a model system to demonstrate engineering of THz resonances (< 10 THz) by fine-tuning the molecular mass and bond strengths. Density Functional Theory (DFT) simulations have been carried out to explain the origin of THz resonances and factors contributing to the shift in resonances due to the addition of various functional groups. The design approach presented here can be easily extended to engineer various organic molecules suitable for THz tags application.
Concrete, a mixture of cement, coarse aggregate, sand and filler material (if any), is widely used in the construction industry. Cement, mainly composed of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) and Dicalcium Silicate (C2S) reacts readily with water, a process known as hydration. The hydration process forms a solid material known as hardened cement paste which is mainly composed of Calcium Silicate Hydrate (C-S-H), Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. To quantify the critical hydration level, an accurate and fast technique is highly desired. However, in conventional XRD technique, the peaks of the constituents of anhydrated and hydrated cement cannot be resolved properly, where as Mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy has low penetration depth and hence cannot be used to determine the hydration level of thicker concrete samples easily. Further, MIR spectroscopy cannot be used to effectively track the formation of Calcium Hydroxide, a key by-product during the hydration process. This paper describes a promising approach to quantify the hydration dynamics of cement using Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. This technique has been employed to track the time dependent reaction mechanism of the key constituents of cement that react with water and form the products in the hydrated cement, viz., C-S-H, Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. This study helps in providing an improved understanding on the hydration kinetics of cement and also to optimise the physio-mechanical characteristics of concrete.