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The potential of THz radiation is impressive in many fields, such as space, security, medical, biology, microscopy. In particular, in medical applications the THz radiation will allow in vivo early disease diagnostic, tissue identification of anomalies, cancer diagnosis. In the security field, the capability of THz radiation to penetrate materials such as plastic, cardboard, paper, and to reveal concealed weapons and dangerous substances like drugs or explosive, without the risk for the health typical of X-ray, could be used in crowded areas such as airports to detect potential risks.

The lack of compact, cheap, powerful and efficient THz sources has strongly limited the realization of THz based systems.
The OPTHER (Optically Driven Terahertz Amplifiers) project undertakes to overcome those limiting factors by solving the power/size limitation of THz sources innovatively combining available optical THz sources (such as Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) or photo mixing systems) with a compact, efficient and reliable novel vacuum THz amplifier to boost the overall performances. Micromachining and nanotechnologies will be extensively applied in the novel THz amplifier realization.
The OPTHER project aims to provide a breakthrough in THz technologies, with respect to all the other solutions available worldwide, giving to the Europe a top role in the field.

The OPTHER consortium is composed of 6 partners, from three different countries with specific and integrated knowledge for a successful project: two universities (University of Rome "Tor Vergata", that coordinates the project, and the Technical University of Denmark), a French research institution (CNRS) and three industrial partners (THALES Research & Technology, THALES Electron Devices from France and SELEX-SI from Italy).