Frequencies of terahertz radiation are between microwave and infrared wavelengths. At the moment, it is an actively developing technology due to a number of unique properties. Unlike X-ray, terahertz radiation does not harm the body, and also allows high-speed analysis of materials.
Scientists at Northwestern University of Mechanical Engineering (Illinois) have developed a technology for the production of simple and inexpensive lenses operating at these frequencies. Once again, 3D printing technology came to the aid of researchers in the form of a microstereolithography projection method.
The technology is a microscopic process in which a dynamic photomask is applied over a UV-sensitive polymer using a powerful ultraviolet beam generated by a laser. As a result, the material solidifies and fuses with the bottom layer to form a lens.
This 3D printing technology has enabled researchers to achieve the absolute precision required to form a metamaterial. According to the researchers, the new lenses will be able to focus terahertz images at a lower cost and with a higher resolution, which will facilitate their mass production.