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Terahertz Nondestructive Stratigraphic Analysis of Complex Layered Structures: Reconstruction Techniques

Oct 21, 2021

Zhai, Min, D. S. Citrin, and Alexandre Locquet. “Terahertz Nondestructive Stratigraphic Analysis of Complex Layered Structures: Reconstruction Techniques.” Journal of Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves (2021): 1-18.


Terahertz (THz) time-of-flight tomography (TOFT), a nondestructive-evaluation technique for the stratigraphic characterization of structures with layers on the micron-to-millimeter scales, has proven to be challenging to apply to samples containing both micron-scale and millimeter-scale layers. In THz TOFT, echoes reflected from distant interfaces and defects are often obscured as they may be immersed in a noisy background as such features in the reflected signal may be weak due to attenuation and dispersion, leading to the loss of valuable information. Moreover, overlapping echoes from any optically thin layers, such as thin coatings on thick specimens, are likely to be mistaken for a single interface in reconstructing the stratigraphy. Thus, layered structures containing both thick and thin layers have proven problematic for THz TOFT characterization. In this paper, a sparse-deconvolution (SD) technique, based on an interior-point method, and including a propagation model accounting for dispersion is demonstrated. The method is shown to be successful in extracting the impulse response of samples that combine the challenges of both thick and thin layers. The robustness and effectiveness of this method are verified numerically and experimentally. While the proposed SD approach does not perform as well as cross-correlation (CC) techniques in terms of the maximum thickness, it can provide a clearer and more accurate reconstruction of moderately thick samples incorporating thin layers.

Full paper can be viewed here.