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An illustration of InfraStructs (left) and the resulting  terahertz scans (right) (Image: ...

Fundamental to the Internet of Things is the idea that objects must be uniquely identifiable. RFID chips are perfect for assigning objects a digital fingerprint, at least so far as traditional manufacturing goes. But with the rise of 3D printing, incorporating an RFID chip into your object means interrupting the printing process. Now, scientists have come up with a way to 3D print a unique tag, called an InfraStruct, inside the object as it's being printed, and it's made possible by the slowly emerging field of terahertz imaging.  Read More

One of the new chips was used to non-destructively image a bullet and a knife blade hidden...

Terahertz technology (or T-Ray, for short), sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. It utilizes high-frequency terahertz waves – which are located between microwaves and far-infrared radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum – to see through solid matter without the harmful ionizing radiation of X-rays. Although T-Ray devices have yet to become compact and affordable, that could soon change thanks to new silicon microchips developed at the California Institute of Technology.  Read More

Far-infrared image of a building at night (Image: Robert Gubbins/Shutterstock)

Harvard Professor of Applied Physics Federico Capasso and his collaborators have invented a nearly perfect optical absorber. By coating a piece of sapphire with an exceedingly thin (180 nm) layer of vanadium dioxide (VO2), a surface is created that absorbs 99.75 percent of infrared light with a wavelength of 11.6 micron wavelength. Such optical absorbers can be tailored to enable a wide range of applications.  Read More

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