Douglas T. Petkie

The research group focuses on microwave, millimeter wave and terahertz science, technology and applications.  These efforts can be broken down into three broad categories: spectroscopy, radar and imaging.


High-resolution millimeter, submillimeter-wave and terahertz spectroscopy of fundamental molecules of atmospheric and interstellar interest.
  • nitric acid, HONO2, HO15NO2, DONO2
  • chlorine nitrate, ClONO2
  • peroxynitric acid, HOONO2
  • hydrogen peroxide, H2O2
  • glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO)


Millimeter-wave and terahertz radar systems for the remote dectection of vital signs (think Star Trek Triquarter).  These systems can be used for medical purposes, such as triage, and for security perposes to detect susptious behavior.  Additional applications include a non-invasive vibrometry monitor for a variety of applications.


Millimeter-wave and terahertz imaging systems for concealed weapon detection and non-destructive evaluation.  Current projects focus on the detection of corrsion and other defects found on air craft structures.

Examples of Active and Imaging for concealed weapons detection: opitical (left) and 0.640 THz (right) images.

Collaborations with:

Terahertz Collaborative Research Center

The Microwave Laboratory at The Ohio State University 

The Microwave and Submillimeter-wave Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Research Opportunities:
Stop by and see me or drop me an e-mail.

Research Project may involve:

The design and construction of experiments that will include working with electronics (basic electrical circuits, microwave/millimeter wave equipment, detection techniques), optics, gas handling and vacuum systems, and data acquisition.

Analysis of spectra, which includes programming for data reduction and analysis, simulation of infrared spectra, determining fundamental spectroscopic parameters of different molecules, and testing different molecular models.

I am also open to pursuing and supporting the ideas students may have.

Undergraduate Students
The department offers a Bachlor's degree in physics or engineering physics.
Students can sign up for an independent study or for the department's senior projects course.

Graduate Students
I am part of the program faculty for the Physics M.S., Environmental Sciences Ph.D. and the Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. Programs.

Last updated December 8, 2008