A hi-tech chip allows a phone to 'see through' walls, wood and plastics - and although the researchers are coy about this through fabrics such as clothing. Doctors could also use the imagers to look inside the body for cancer tumours without damaging X-Rays or large, expensive MRI scanners. A hi-tech chip allows a phone to 'see through' walls, wood and plastics - and although the researchers are coy about this through fabrics such as clothing Close up of a CMOS chip - a new version of the commonly used chips would allow users to capture images 'through' walls and even inside the human body The researchers claim it could allow DIYers to detect studs within walls, or allow businesses to detect counterfeit money.
At present, it's designed to work over a short range - and works with a normal-sized microchip that could fit into phones or other handheld electronics. The team's research involves tapping into an unused range in the electromagnetic spectrum.
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. Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas. At present, it's designed to work over a short range - and works with a normal-sized microchip that could fit into phones or other handheld electronics Using the new approach, images can be created with signals operating in the terahertz THz range without having to use several lenses inside a device.
This could reduce overall size and cost. The second advance that 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.
O and his team are focused on uses in the distance range of less than four inches. 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.
Terahertz can also be used for imaging to detect cancer tumors, diagnosing disease through breath analysis, and monitoring air toxicity. O, holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair. The team will work next to build an entire working imaging system based on the CMOS terahertz system.
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