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Modeling of a Sub-THz Sheet-Beam Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier

Tatiana A. Karetnikova1, Andrey G. Rozhnev1, Nikita M. Ryskin1,2, Gennadiy V. Torgashov2,

Nikolay I. Sinitsyn2, Pavel D. Shalaev3, and Anton A. Burtsev3

Saratov State University, Saratov, 410012 Russia

Saratov Branch, Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics RAS, Saratov, 410019 Russia
Almaz R&D Co., 1 Panfilova st., Saratov, 410033 Russia

AbstractThis study is aimed at development of a moderate

power sheet-beam traveling wave tube (TWT) amplifier with
grating slow-wave structure (SWS). A fast and accurate code for
calculation of eigenwaves in the grating SWS is developed, and
results of numerical modeling of a G-band TWT are presented.
Electron gun producing an intensive sheet electron beam is
developed. Beam focusing and transportation is discussed.


ICROFABRICATED vacuum THz sources are of great

such as
communications, radar, sensors, imaging, etc. [1]. In particular,
sheet-beam traveling-wave tubes (TWTs) and backward-wave
oscillators (BWOs) have attracted a considerable interest [1-4].
Such devices utilize grating SWSs. In this paper, we present the
results of research aimed at development of the G-band
(0.2 THz) TWT amplifier with grating SWS and sheet electron



For 3D numerical modeling we developed a fast and
accurate approach based on the integral equation method
(IEM) [5]. An integral equation is obtained by matching fields
on the borders between the interaction region (beam tunnel)
and domains inside the grating slots using the continuity
condition for the tangent components of the electric and
magnetic fields. From these conditions, a system of two
coupled integral Fredholm equations follows [5]. The
developed code allows simulation of structures for which
upper and lower gratings have different parameters, except the
grating period d . However, further we will restrict ourselves
to the case of identical gratings.
Schematics of the double- and single-grating SWSs are
presented in Fig. 1. Using the developed code, we calculated
dispersion and coupling impedance for the double-grating halfperiod staggered SWS in a wide range of parameters, such as
grating period, height, thickness, etc. [5,6]. The results reveal
that the double-grating SWS in G-band (0.20.3 THz) is rather
broadband, i.e., the passband is about 50 GHz. However, the
coupling impedance is low and does not exceed 1 in the
most part of the passband, except the vicinity of the
cutoff/stopband frequencies. The coupling impedance can be
increased by decreasing the height of the beam tunnel 2a , as
well as the vane thickness s= d L , but the capability of such
a technique is limited by technological reasons. Also, the
increase of the slot depth l leads to increase of the coupling
impedance, but at the cost of decreasing of the passband.

Fig. 1. Schematic of the double-grating (a) and single-grating (b) SWS

The small coupling impedance can be counterbalanced by

increasing the transverse size of the electron beam. In
particular, for the 750 150 um beam with 100 A/cm2 current
density the beam current is about 100 mA that is enough to
achieve 20 dB small-signal gain in the SWS consisting of 50
grating periods.
In Fig. 2(a), dispersion diagrams for the double-grating
SWSs with different displacement between the gratings w are
presented. From this figure one can see that the stopband
appears when w d 2 . The stopband width increases with the
decreasing of w. Fig. 2(b) and (c) shows coupling impedance
averaged over the beam cross-section for forward and
backward harmonics, respectively. In the case of forward
harmonic, maximal coupling impedance is achieved for the
half period staggered grating. For the backward harmonic,
maximal coupling impedance is achieved at w = 0. However,
the calculations show that for the BWO interaction the singlegrating SWS (Fig. 1(b)) looks more preferably.

Fig. 3. Microphotograph image of the wedge cathode.

In conclusion, the results presented in this paper, suggest a

promising future of the miniaturized G-band sheet-beam
amplifier with grating slow wave structure.
This work is supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic
Research grants No. 13-08-00986a and 14-02-00976a.
Fig. 2. Dispersion and coupling impedance for vane thickness
s=100 um, period d=500 um, tunnel height 2a=200 um, and different
shifts between the gratings w=0 um (orange); 125 um (green); 187.5 um
(blue); 230 um (purple); 250 um (black).




An electron gun with a wedge-shape impregnated tungsten
cathode producing a 700 100 um intensive sheet electron
beam is developed. To reduce the work function, the cathode
is covered by Os film. Operating temperature of the cathode is
1200C. Peak current density 140 A/cm2 was measured in
pulse mode with 10 us pulse duration and 2000 off-duty factor.
Propagation of the 100 mA, 20 keV electron beam in the
850 200 um beam tunnel was simulated using the 3D code
Lorentz-3EM [7]. The beam is focused by 1.12 T uniform
magnetic field. Stable beam transportation at distance equal to
50 grating periods (25 mm) without significant distortion and
current interception is observed.





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