Abstract

Experimental investigations have shown that terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI) is able to quantitatively characterize a range of multilayered media (e.g., biological issues, pharmaceutical tablet coatings, layered polymer composites, etc.). Advanced modeling of the interaction of terahertz radiation with a multilayered medium is required to enable the wide application of terahertz technology in a number of emerging fields, including nondestructive testing. Indeed, there have already been many theoretical analyses performed on the propagation of terahertz radiation in various multilayered media. However, to date, most of these studies used 1D or 2D models, and the dispersive nature of the dielectric layers was not considered or was simplified. In the present work, the theoretical framework of using terahertz waves for the quantitative characterization of multilayered media was established. A 3D model based on the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is proposed. A batch of pharmaceutical tablets with a single coating layer of different coating thicknesses and different refractive indices was modeled. The reflected terahertz wave from such a sample was computed using the FDTD method, assuming that the incident terahertz wave is broadband, covering a frequency range up to 3.5 THz. The simulated results for all of the pharmaceutical-coated tablets considered were found to be in good agreement with the experimental results obtained using a commercial TPI system. In addition, we studied a three-layered medium to mimic the occurrence of defects in the sample.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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