Center for High Technology Materials
Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico.

In a collaborative effort, researchers at the University of New Mexico have broken new ground in Terahertz imaging through the development of a new metamaterial which allows manipulation of light in the Terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum and enables compressive sensing similar to what is possibly being undertaken in the human eye.

Metamaterials are engineered materials that have special properties that are not found in nature. It uses shapes and orientation to manipulate light waves. The metamaterial was grown and fabricated at the Center for High Technology Materials says director Sanjay Krishna.

Sanjay Krishna, CHTM director
Sanjay Krishna, CHTM director

Krishna’s research group, including his graduate student John Montoya, along with researchers from the Department of Physics, Boston College, and the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, has developed a spatial light modulator whose reflection can be changed by using an applied voltage. The structure can interact with the light waves in new ways, which have longer wavelengths than visible light. The compressed images displayed with a single-pixel detector paves the way for novel research in THz imaging.

This research fills a gap in long-wavelength imaging because it supplies a material that functions to concentrate images within a narrow band. It has implications for applications that can range from security screening, to all weather to skin cancer detection.