Commissioning of a terahertz system for spectroscopy and imaging in the University of the Philippines Los Baños for chemical, biological, and engineering applications
Terahertz (THz) waves are sandwiched between the microwave and the infrared region. This region was accessed through the development of ultrafast lasers, emitters and detectors that enable amplitude and phase measurements of THz pulses. In the Philippines, there are three (3) research groups dedicated for THz research: the National Institute of Physics (UP Diliman), Physics Department (De La Salle University), and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics (UP Los Baños). The newest THz facility housed at UP Los Baños has spectral and imaging capabilities. This was funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology (DOST − PCIEERD). Ever since the system became operational in May 2022, several applications have been identified relevant to the needs of the country. Some experiments included imaging of leaf samples, differentiation of pharmaceuticals, characterization of polymeric systems, defect detection in construction materials and THz irradiation of insect eggs. In the THz roadmap of the country, the THz group will explore applications in the medical field, communications, electronics and security among others. For the THz laboratory in Los Baños, the group aims to have a more sustainable research agenda to maintain the facility for cutting-edge THz research works.