X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation capable of passing through objects, and are widely used in the medical field to view internal organs and in security devices to determine the contents of a package. The great disadvantage posed by the use of x-rays is that due to its high energetic content, x-rays are ionizing, which means that they produce chemical alterations in the material subjected to them. Where live organisms are concerned, and depending on the dosage, they can increase the risk of cancer or even lead to death.
T-rays, or terahertz radiation, are another form of electromagnetic radiation capable of passing through objects. Unlike x-rays, they do not carry a sufficient amount of energy to cause the ionization of any material, meaning that its use does not cause any negative side effects. Unfortunately, the technology capable of emitting waves on this frequency is still in its infancy. The young, Spanish innovator Rubén Criado, a telecommunications engineer and a PhD in Photonics from the University of Carlos III in Madrid (Spain), has developed a system that generates terahertz that are higher quality and simpler than those that existed previously.
The innovation of the generator manufactured by his company, Luz WaveLabs, is based on combining two types of technologies – electric and photonic – while maintaining the respective advantages of both. Criado´s generator combines the quality of electronic systems but within the range of frequencies of photonics.
Thanks to the high quality and the technical simplicity of Criado´s generator, its applications could be extended from the current advances in spectroscopy and security to its use in telecommunications or biomedical research. The day is not far off where t-rays will replace x-rays in medical diagnostics.