High power microwave generation by a coaxial virtual cathode oscillator

Weihua Jiang, Kevin Woolverton, James Dickens, Magne Kristiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


A new type of virtual cathode oscillator, the coaxial vircator, was studied analytically and experimentally. A onedimensional analytical model was used to describe the steadystate behavior of the electron beam and the virtual cathode, from which the diode current, the space-charge limited current, the virtual cathode position, and the estimated oscillation frequency were obtained. The experiments were carried out with typical electron-beam parameters of 500 kV, 40 kA, and 30 ns, where pulsed microwaves of 400 MW in peak power and 2 GHz in frequency have been obtained. The energy efficiency from the electron beam to microwaves was ~2%. This efficiency is expected to be improved by increasing the microwave field strength around the vircator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1538-1542
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • High-power microwaves
  • Microwave devices
  • Microwave measurements
  • Pulsed power systems
  • Relativistic electron beams


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