Investigation of Spatial Harmonic Magnetrons for High Power Millimetre and THz Wave Operations
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Magnetron is a crossed-field vacuum tube and has found applications in many fields where high power microwave is required, such as meteorological radar, marine navigation, particle accelerator and domestic and industrial heating. When the operating frequencies are in millimetre-wave/THz band, conventional magnetrons show an inherent limitation due to complex small structure, short life time and intense magnetic field. Recently, the Spatial Harmonic Magnetron (SHM) has been proved to be an effective alternative to conventional magnetron for millimetre-wave/THz applications with the advantages of simple anode structure, sufficient life time, low voltage and magnetic field. However, the physics of the operation of SHM have not been adequately understood. In this thesis, considerable insight into the SHM operation has been obtained based on the 3-D particle simulation and experiment. The investigation of a 16-vane SHM operating in the π/2-1 mode at 35GHz reveals that the cathode current mainly depends on the electron secondary emission from the cold cathode rather than the injection current from the side cathode. The smaller secondary emission coefficient causes noisy output spectrum and low output power. When the secondary emission coefficient reduces below a threshold value, the oscillation cannot start. The transient behaviour shows that the neighbouring modes compete with the working mode. The particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation of a π/2 SHM demonstrates that the oscillation could jump from the working mode to its neighbouring mode with a slight change of the anode voltage. The simulated performance on a compact 95 GHz SHM is in a good agreement with the measured one. A number of engineering issues, such as the pulse duration, the anode temperature and vacuum break down have been considered for the SHM to deliver more than 5kW peak power with 200ns pulse in 0.05% duty cycle. The quality of output signal pulses assessed in the experiment indicates that this SHM can be effectively used for the development of low cost W-band cloud radar. There are a number of technical challenges in designing and fabricating THz-band SHMs with good performance, such as fabrication of a large number of cavities and the cold cathode. The modelling of a 40-vane 209 GHz SHM operating on the π/2-1 mode and the measurement on fabricated anode cavity indicates that the fabrication tolerance should be taken into account in the design of a high frequency SHM. Based on the analysis on a 44-cavity anode, the π/2-3 mode is chosen to improve the mode stability. The PIC simulation indicates that such magnetrons can deliver at least 0.6 kW peak power at a frequency above 300GHz.
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