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UT DALLAS, USA. An imager chip that could turn mobile phones into devices that can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other objects.

X-ray for phones

Dr. Kenneth O, director of the UT Texas Analog Center of Excellence and a professor of electrical engineering and his team have created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use and life-saving medical application. “The terahertz range is full of unlimited potential that could benefit us all,” said Dr O.

The electromagnetic spectrum characterizes wavelengths of energy. For example, radio waves for AM and FM signals, or microwaves used for cell phones or the infrared wavelength that makes night vision devices possible. But the terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum, one of the wavelength ranges that falls between microwave and infrared, has not been accessible for most consumer devices.

The UT Dallas’s research team linked also developed a new microchip technology that can tap into the terahertz band. This second advance makes the findings applicable for consumer devices is the technology used to create the microchip. Chips manufactured using CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) technology form the basis of many consumer electronic devices used in daily life such as personal computers, smart phones, high definition TV and game consoles.

Consumer applications of such technology could range from finding studs in walls to authentication of important documents. Businesses could use it to detect counterfeit money. Manufacturing companies could apply it to process control. There are also more communication channels available in terahertz than the range currently used for wireless communication, so information could be more rapidly shared at this frequency.

Invention
Lytro light field camera technology

Organization
UT Dallas, USA

Researcher
Kenneth O

Field(s)
electromagnetic waves, electronics, CMOS chips

Further Information
Press Release

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