Comparison of the THz absorption feature in lactose to related saccharides

Jon E. Bjarnason, Elliott R. Brown, Timothy M. Korter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Solid-state organic compounds such as α-lactose-monohydrate and biotin have been shown to have narrow and intense THz absorption features at room temperature. Interest in lineshapes in the THz region is justified not only for practical reasons, since they are of crucial importance to spectroscopy-based identification of materials, but also because of the information the line-widths contain about the solid-state physics of the materials. The line-width of THz absorption features (generally from lattice vibrations) in solids is excepted to be inversely proportional to the scattering time of optical phonons. The line-width of absorption features might thus have implications on the solid-state physics of the material, in particular, the interaction of phonons and the phonon density of states. We use a continuous wave THz photomixing system to obtain a high resolution spectrum of a-lactose-mohohydrate and analyze two of its lowest-frequency absorption lines. For comparison we measure the transmission spectra of 5 chemically related saccharides: melecitose, trehalose, maltose, cellobiose, and raffinose. Since α-lactose-monohydrate has a stronger and narrower absorption feature than any of its related saccharides, this comparison study is an important step in understanding the mechanism of THz radiation absorption by organic solids and what line-widths to expect in THz spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTerahertz for Military and Security Applications V
StatePublished - 2007
EventTerahertz for Military and Security Applications V - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 9 2007Apr 10 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherTerahertz for Military and Security Applications V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Cellobiose
  • Lactose
  • Linewidth
  • Maltose
  • Melecitose
  • Raffinose
  • Spectroscopy
  • Trehalose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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