According to a new technical market research report, Terahertz Radiation Systems: Technologies and Global Markets (IAS029B) from BCC Research, the global market for terahertz radiation devices and systems was valued at $83.7 million in 2011 and is expected to increase to $127 million in 2016, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7 percent. By 2021, BCC expects that market value to reach $570 million, a CAGR of 35 percent over that five-year period.
The terahertz radiation market can be broken down into five segments according to system type: imaging, spectroscopy, other sensors, communications and computing.
The imaging segment accounted for $73 million in 2011 and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 0.7 percent to reach $75.7 million in 2016. Following 2016, the segment should experience a CAGR of 26.8 percent, reaching a value of $248.3 million by 2021.
The spectroscopy segment accounted for $10.7 million in 2011 and will increase at a CAGR of 7.4 percent to reach $15.3 million in 2016. The segment is expected to increase again at a CAGR of 7.4 percent to reach a value of $21.9 million by 2021.
While the remaining segments currently are small in terms of value, the sensors, communications, and computing segments are projected to have CAGRs of 58.8 percent, 213.8 percent and 29.4 percent, respectively, from 2016 to 2021.
Sandwiched between the optical on the short wavelength side and radio on the long wavelength extreme, the terahertz (THz) frequency range (also called the far infrared or submillimeter-wave region) has been the least explored and developed portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The potential usefulness of THz radiation, with its ability to penetrate a wide range of nonconducting materials, has been known for a long time. The first images generated using THz radiation date from as far back as the 1960s.
Practical applications of THz radiation have been longer in coming, however, due to the so-called “terahertz gap.” That term refers to the technologies needed to generate, channel, and detect THz radiation subject to real-world constraints such as size, cost, and operating temperatures. Recent developments in THz radiation sources, detectors, and waveguides have started to close the terahertz gap, opening up a range of potential applications in transportation security, medical imaging, nondestructive testing, and other fields.