High speed THz Biomedical Imaging using Rydberg Atom Detection

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Physics


Although THz imaging has long promised a number of significant advantages in a range of applications the challenge has been the reliable and rapid detection of the signals. A novel detection method using Rydberg atoms has recently been demonstrated in Durham. This project is aimed at using this new high speed imaging detector to look at applications of THz imaging in a range of areas with an initial focus on biomedical applications.
In the detector a laser is used to excite atoms to a high energy state where they are "metastable" staying in the excited state for a period of time. However, with a small perturbation to their energy state, such as that caused by THz radiation, the atom will return to a lower lying state with the mission of visible light which can easily be detected using conventional imaging cameras. This unique method of imaging THz radiation will be combined with a collimated beam of THz to produce a high-speed THz imaging camera. The basic principles behind this method have already been reported by the Durham team.
This project will advance the quality and speed of the imaging system with an imaging target being human tissue for the diagnosis and monitoring of a range of disease states. The first target areas will be to look at skin for a range of states including dryness, psoriasis and wound healing. In particular the project will look at water content as the imaging contrast agent though the system can be tuned to other specific chemical signature wavelengths.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T518001/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2569986 Studentship EP/T518001/1 01/10/2021 31/03/2025 James Fleming