2011 Joule Medal and Prize
Dr Donald D Arnone
For his pioneering work in the science, technology and applications of terahertz radiation.
Dr Arnone has acquired an international reputation for his pioneering work in taking terahertz radiation from a laboratory demonstration to an important, previously unsuspected, diagnostic technique arousing world-wide scientific and industrial interest. Early work at Lucent showed that femtosecond excitation of a semiconductor resulted in emission of terahertz radiation and primitive imaging was demonstrated. Working at Toshiba Research Europe, Cambridge, Arnone improved methods of generation and detection, initially for basic semiconductor studies. Then in 1999 he obtained the first terahertz image of human tissue - a tooth- showing decay and enamel wear more clearly than X-Rays, subsequently investigating excised cancerous skin samples demonstrating absorption differences between skin cancer and healthy tissue.
In 2001 TeraView was established with Arnone as CEO, he led a programme improving both hardware and software for the pharmaceutical industry resulting in significant breakthroughs in non-invasively detecting polymorphic changes in active ingredients in tablets, a major problem in the industry with serious safety implications. Internal interfaces of tablets were resolved with important relevance for high added value tablets such as anti-cancer where controlled release of ingredients is imperative to prevent harmful side-effects. Arnone’s team have subsequently worked with over 20 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on improving tablet efficiency and safety. New methods for predicting dissolution properties have also been found.
Other areas which he has pioneered have been security imaging and spectroscopic identification of explosives and toxic gases. An advanced fault determination technology has been developed for semiconductor chips and terahertz instrumentation is undergoing clinical trials in Guys Hospital London for determination of tumour margins during surgery The development of terahertz has been a remarkable demonstration of applied physics with important applications based on fundamental principles, Arnone’s team and company are now the international leaders in this important, new emerging industry.