Invited Review Terahertz Transmission, Scattering, Reflection, and Absorption-the Interaction of THz Radiation with Soils
Terahertz radiation has been proposed as a useful tool in the study of soils and related materials from such diverse perspectives as detection of non-metallic landmines to improving soil fertility by agricultural charcoals produced by pyrolysis of organic material. The main barrier to such applications is that soils are rather opaque at terahertz frequencies. In this article, the main findings to date on the interaction of terahertz radiation with soils are reviewed, organized around the four phenomena of terahertz: transmission, scattering, reflection, and absorption. Terahertz transmission through soils is generally low and decreases with frequency. Terahertz scattering is evident in many THz-soil interactions, as the wavelength of the radiation is of the order of the particle size. Terahertz reflection is important to communications as these develop from the GHz into the THz band. Terahertz absorption on diluted soil samples has been demonstrated to be effective in identifying soil constituents, such as aromatic compounds, and soil contaminants, such as pesticides.