High power long pulse microwave generation from a metamaterial structure with reverse symmetry

Xueying Lu, Jacob C. Stephens, Ivan Mastovsky, Michael A. Shapiro, Richard J. Temkin

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13 Scopus citations


Experimental operation of a high power microwave source with a metamaterial (MTM) structure is reported at power levels to 2.9 MW at 2.4 GHz in full 1 μs pulses. The MTM structure is formed by a waveguide that is below cutoff for TM modes. The waveguide is loaded by two axial copper plates machined with complementary split ring resonators, allowing two backward wave modes to propagate in the S-Band. A pulsed electron beam of up to 490 kV, 84 A travels down the center of the waveguide, midway between the plates. The electron beam is generated by a Pierce gun and is focused by a lens into a solenoidal magnetic field. The MTM plates are mechanically identical but are placed in the waveguide with reverse symmetry. Theory indicates that both Cherenkov and Cherenkov-cyclotron beam-wave interactions can occur. High power microwave generation was studied by varying the operating parameters over a wide range, including the electron beam voltage, the lens magnetic field, and the solenoidal field. Frequency tuning with a magnetic field and beam voltage was studied to discriminate between operation in the Cherenkov mode and the Cherenkov-cyclotron mode. Both modes were observed, but pulses above 1 MW of output power were only seen in the Cherenkov-cyclotron mode. A pair of steering coils was installed prior to the interaction space to initiate the cyclotron motion of the electron beam and thus encourage the Cherenkov-cyclotron high power mode. This successfully increased the output power from 2.5 MW to 2.9 MW (450 kV, 74 A, 9% efficiency).

Original languageEnglish
Article number023102
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


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