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Terahertz spectroscopy

Terahertz spectroscopy is a new spectroscopic technique capable of obtaining information on intermolecular vibrations and crystals. Because different information is obtained compared to that from wavelengths used in UV-visible and infrared spectroscopy, terahertz spectroscopy is a promising approach to eliminating the problems encountered in conventional spectroscopic analysis.

Terahertz wave

 

Terahertz waves are electromagnetic waves located between light and radio waves, which are 0.1 THz to 10 THz in frequency (1 THz equivalent to 300 μm equivalent to 33 cm-1 equivalent to 4 meV). The terahertz wave band has a longer wavelength and lower photon energy than visible light and so is the focus of recent intense study since its electromagnetic waves can yield new spectroscopic information such as intermolecular vibrations via hydrogen bonds and Van der Waals forces, crystal lattice vibrations, molecular rotations and the relaxing of these vibrations and rotations.

<Features>
・Frequency corresponding to intermolecular vibrations, crystal lattice vibrations and molecular relaxation
・Strong absorption into water
・Low invasiveness

Phenomena sensitive to terahertz waves

・Weak forces called intermolecular forces are present between molecules.
・Terahertz waves interact with intermolecular forces and are absorbed.
・The absorbed wavelength differs depending on the difference in intermolecular forces and the arrangement of molecules.

*Intermolecular forces: van der waals forces, hydrogen bond, etc.

・Motion of molecules with partial charges (polar molecules) causes them to align while interacting with the terahertz wave electric field.
・How easily the molecules move at this time determines terahertz absorption characteristics.

Merit

Terahertz spectroscopy has advantages over other spectroscopic techniques even in applications that require difficult measurements and complicated processes.

  • Determination and evaluation of material deterioration or screening good and defective products by measuring molecular vibrations, crystalline changes, etc.
  • Easy and simple screening of incoming raw materials such as for pharmaceuticals.
  • Evaluation of fermentation process by stable measurement.
  • Real-time monitoring of crystal transitions by stable measurement.
  • Real-time monitoring and judging if target product for chemical synthesis was produced.
  • Quantitative evaluation of solutes such as aqueous solutions by obtaining a calibration curve based on the refractive index, absorption coefficient, etc.
  • Measurement of crystallinity and crystalline forms (shape) using terahertz wave properties of being sensitivity to crystals.
  • Measurement of high concentrations without requiring dilution.
  • Non-destructive water/moisture content measurement using a calibration curve causes no harm that may occur in chemical and weight measurements.
  • Others: measurement and evaluation of changes caused by intermolecular interactions.

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Terahertz spectrometer

This is an attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectrometer integrating a terahertz wave emitter, detector and total reflection prism into a single unit. ATR spectroscopy using the C12068 series is unaffected by water vapor in the environment and ensures high stability and easy operability.

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