The scientific and industrial world has been stimulated by the new environmental, societal and economic challenges to develop new materials or improve existing ones, be they in solid, liquid or gaseous form. Understanding these new materials and fine tuning their manufacturing process are key steps requiring appropriate measuring, inspection and characterisation technological methods at the heart of the material.
Different technologies from the field of acoustic waves (ultrasounds) and of course from the field of electromagnetic waves (X-rays, infrared) exist, but there are still unresolved or partially-resolved scientific or industrial problems. These include on line control of composite materials, detailed analysis of heterogeneities of plastics and, in the pharmaceutical sector, on line control of the purity of medicines or the extensive discrimination of counterfeit products. These problems require new technological resources combining penetration capabilities of the material and also high sensitivity to different types of heterogeneities.
The field of electromagnetic waves has not yet delivered its full potential for these applications.
We are convinced that technologies based on Terahertz waves, until now confined to astronomical observation, will become in the next few years a major technology in Non-destructive evaluation and testing for the scientific and industrial sectors.