skip to primary navigationskip to content

Terahertz Applications Group

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Studying at Cambridge


Axel Zeitler

Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Cambridge
New Museums Site
Pembroke Street
Cambridge, CB2 3RA, UK

Tel.: +44 (0) 1223 334783
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 334796

Research Interests

Materials Characterisation

My main interest is in the characterisation of condensed matter samples with a direct link into chemical engineering. In our work we are exploiting the sensitivity of terahertz radiation to the interaction of molecules and the resulting structure and dynamics the molecules form in solids and liquids. One of my particular areas of interest is in the solid state physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical materials. In addition to this field I am working towards a better understanding of catalysts, fundamental properties of glasses and the dynamics of biomolecules. 

Non-destructive Imaging

By exploiting the fact that terahertz radiation is able to penetrate a number of materials that are opaque at visible frequencies we are able to quantitatively probe the structure of a wide variety of samples such as polymer coatings of pharmaceutical tablets. I am interested in how this information can be used to develop better processes and products, again with a particular interest in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Semiconductor Physics Group I am interested in evaluating the potential of new, more powerful, sources of terahertz radiation such as quantum cascade lasers (THz-QCL) for imaging applications.

Industrial Sensor Applications

At the moment terahertz technology is predominantly used in laboratories in a research and development environment. In order to advance the applications into process control and manufacturing we are working together with industry towards a new generation of terahertz sensors which are capable of providing real-time data and operating under industrial conditions.