Terahertz imaging is a scanning technique that uses terahertz frequency waves from 0.3 to 10 THz to penetrate through dense objects. Owing to its comparatively low photon energy, terahertz radiation does not cause any changes in the chemical structure unlike x-rays and UV radiation. Also, it does not harm the human body and the other objects it passes through, due to its non-ionizing and modest operating frequency range.
The key factor driving the growth of the terahertz imaging market include the increasing demand for security systems across the world. As terahertz imaging systems use terahertz electromagnetic waves that have low photon energy, they are environment-friendly and harmless when one is exposed to them.
Governments are introducing stringent regulations for safe testing technologies in the commercial sector as well as for product quality enhancement in the industrial sector. This is further resulting in increased manufacturing of terahertz imaging systems and is largely driving the market.
The restraint affecting the terahertz imaging market include the large and heavy equipment size of terahertz imaging. Also, special operating conditions such as controlled humidity or temperature and the use of liquefied gases are required for the implementation of these systems. However, increasing research and development investment is expected to decrease the size and weight of the imaging equipment as well as make them less demanding for special operating conditions.
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The opportunity anticipated to boost the terahertz imaging market include its increasing demand for art restoration. Terahertz beams can penetrate layers of paint to create specific effects in arts and also plumb through layers of the artwork despite wear and tear over the years. Also, owing to advanced processing in terahertz imaging, it can differentiate between several layers that are around 20 microns thick.
It is also used in the detection of structural defects in composite and ceramic materials as well as in the imaging of manuscripts and paintings. Apart from this, terahertz imaging systems are progressively used for the diagnosis of blood and skin cancer across the world. These diseases are detected through the analysis of change in THz optical constants and the corresponding change in cell structure. The fact that THz waves do not damage the material makes it a useful tool in the biomedical field.
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The terahertz imaging market can be classified on the basis of type, type of source, end-use industry, component, and geography. On the basis of type, the terahertz imaging market can be divided into active imaging and passive imaging. On the basis of component, the terahertz imaging market can be segmented into terahertz source and terahertz detector.
On the basis of type of source, the terahertz imaging market can be segmented into continuous-wave THz imaging system and pulsed THz imaging system. On the basis of end-use industry, the terahertz imaging market can be segmented into healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, defense, food and beverage, research, industrial, government, and others.