Advantages of Terahertz (THz) | Disadvantages of Terahertz (THz) waves

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Terahertz (THz) waves. It mentions benefits or advantages of Terahertz (THz) and drawbacks or disadvantages of Terahertz (THz) waves.

What is Terahertz (THz)?

The term "Tera" refers to 1012 where as Terahertz refers to region in EM spectrum from 0.3 to 10 terahertz frequencies. This terahertz radiation lies between microwave radiation and infrared radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum. It is considered as extension of microwave and mmwave frequency bands. It offers greater communication bandwidth than these frequency bands.

Terahertz frequencies share some properties of both microwave and infrared (IR) radiations. THz waves travel in LOS (Line of Sight) and they are non-ionizing like IR/microwave waves. Moreover similar to microwave, THz frequency waves penetrate wide variety of non-conducting materials such as clothes, wood, paper, plastic, cardboard, ceramics and so on. Terahertz radiation is highly reflected by metals.

Terahertz in EM sepectrum

THz wavelengths range from 1 mm to 0.1 mm. As THz radiation begins at wavelength of 1 mm and goes less than 1 mm, it is known as submillimeter band. This frequency band is also called as T-rays, T-waves, T-lux, T-light etc.

The terahertz frequencies find applications in spectroscopy, pulsed imaging, impulse ranging, communication, sensing, security, mine detection, bio-chemical agent detection and so on. Research in development of viable sources of THz radiations, detectors and modulators have expedited possibilities of use of Terahertz in wireless communications.

Benefits or advantages of Terahertz (THz)

Following are the benefits or advantages of Terahertz (THz):
➨It offers greater bandwidth than microwave frequencies. The data bandwidth exceeds wireless protocols e.g. 802.11b.
➨THz radiation waves can easily pass through non-conducting materials as mentioned above.
➨It can be used in image sensing and higher bandwidth wireless networking systems for distances of about 10 to 100 meters.
➨It has minimum effects on human body as it is non-ionizing in nature.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Terahertz (THz)

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Terahertz (THz):
➨It does not support long range communication due to scattering and absorption by cloud, dust, rain etc.
➨It supports less penetration depth than microwave radiation. Moreover it has limited penetration through clouds and fog. THz waves can not penetrate liquid water or metal.
➨It is difficult to detect terahertz frequencies as black body radiation at room temperatures is very strong at these frequencies.
➨Sources, detectors, modulators are not available at affordable prices which lead to hinderances in its commercial availability as communication system.

Conclusion: The unique features of THz (Terahertz) radiation such as reflectivity by metals and higher absorption by water are advantages for certain applications and disadvantages for some.

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