Interactions of terahertz (THz) electromagnetic radiation with polymer materials have been studied recently with increasing depth and breadth, for purposes of both using polymers in fabricating THz optical components such as lenses, waveplates, waveguides, and sample holders/containers, and employing THz spectral imaging as a new tool for nondestructive testing of polymer composite structures. Either endeavor cannot even begin without a quantitative knowledge of the complex dielectric permittivity, i.e., the propagation and attenuation properties of such polymers in the requisite wave band. In this paper, a number of non-polar and non-magnetic polymers, such as polytetrafluoroethylene, polypropylene, high-density polyethylene, and polymethyl methacrylate, are studied for the purpose of determining their complex dielectric permittivity, including its real part and imaginary parts, in the wide frequency band from millimeter wave to THz wave (75 GHz–1.6 THz), in two ways. The first is a free space method based on a vector network analyzer covering the frequency region from 75 to 500 GHz, and the second is the THz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS), effective for the region of 100 GHz–1.6 THz. The results are consistent with existing data (with discrepancies less than 1% in most cases for both the index of refraction and the absorption coefficient), and where they overlap in frequency coverage, the two methods yield identical results to within measurement error.
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18 June 2018: A correction was made to Ref. 6.
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