Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 3 (2008)

Real-time terahertz imaging for art conservation science

K. Fukunaga, N. Sekine, I. Hosako, N. Oda, H. Yoneyama, T. Sudou


A new real-time terahertz imaging system has been developed by using a quantum cascade laser source and a microbolometer focal plane detector array. The application to non-invasive analyses of cultural heritage is demonstrated with an oil paint specimen. The experimental results suggested that the terahertz imaging system can identify materials based on a spectral database with a spatial resolution of about 300 μm. The transmission imaging indicated the difference between natural and artificial ultramarine pigments. Since the size of the system is similar to a common portable infrared camera, it can be used at the place where the object is located, such as museums, and can contribute to conservation activities, such as drying process monitoring. This real-time, small, non-invasive terahertz imaging system can be used in various fundamental research fields and practical industries.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2008.08027]

Full Text: PDF

Citation Details

Cite this article


B. B. Hu, and M. C. Nuss, "Imaging with terahertz waves" Opt. Lett. 20, 1716 (1995).

D. Mitteleman, R. H. Jacobsen, and M. C. Nuss, "T-ray imaging" IEEE J. Quantum Elect. 2, 679-692 (1996).

A. W. M. Lee, B. S. Williams, S. Kumar, Q. Hu, and J. L. Reno, "Real-time imaging using a 4.3 THz quantum cascade laser and a 320 240 microbolometer focal-plane array" IEEE Photonic Tech. L. 18, 1415-1417 (2008).

T. Yasui, K. Sawanaka, A. Ihara, E. Abraham, M. Hashimoto, and T. Araki, "Absorption-sensitive diffuse reflection imaging of concealed powders using a terahertz quantum cascade laser" Opt. Express 16, 1208-1221 (2008).

P. Dean, M. U. Shaukat, S. P. Khanna, S. Chakraborty, M. Lachab, A. Burnett, G. Davies, and E. H. Linfield, "Absorption-sensitive diffuse reflection imaging of concealed powders using a terahertz quantum cascade laser" Opt. Express 16, 5997-6007 (2008).

J. B. Jackson, M. Mourou, J. F. Whitaker, I. N. Duling III, S. L. Williamson, M. Menu, and G.A. Mourou, "Terahertz imaging for non-destructive evaluation of mural paintings" Opt. Commun. 281, 527-532 (2008).

M. R. Derrick, D. Stulik, and J. M. Lanfry, Infrared Spectroscopy in Conservation Science (The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1999).

A. Aldrovandi, M. L. Altamura, M. T. Cianfanelli, and P. Riitano, "Pictorial materials: the creation of a sample charge for the characterization of materials by means of multispectral analysis" OPD Restauro 8, 191-210 (1996).

K. Fukunaga, Y. Ogawa, S. Hayashi, and I. Hosako, "Terahertz spectroscopy for art conservation" IEICE Electron. Express 4, 258-263 (2007).

A. Doria, E. Giovenale, G. P. Gallerano, G. Messina, A. Petralia, I. Spassovsky, K. Fukunaga, and I. Hosako, "THz-ARTE: non-invasive terahertz diagnostics for art conservation" Proc. IRMMW-THz 2008, in preparation (2008).

I. Hosako, N. Sekine, M. Patrashin, and H. Yasuda, "Development of components for cost effective terahertz measurement system: terahertz quantum cascade laser and terahertz quantum well infrared photo-detector" Proc. SPIE 6772, 67720R-67720R9 (2007).

N. Oda, H. Yoneyama, T. Sasaki, M. Sano, S. Kurashina, I. Hosako, N. Sekine, T. Sudoh, and T. Irie, "Detection of terahertz radiation from quantum cascade laser using vanadium oxide microbolometer focal plane arrays" Proc. SPIE 6940, 69402Y-69402Y12 (2008).