Miniature Sub-millimeter Wave Magnetron Oscillator

Period of Performance: 09/08/2006 - 09/08/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator


Microwave Technologies proposes the development of a revolutionary miniature submillimeter-wave magnetron oscillator (SMO) that will provide tens of milliwatts of terahertz radiation for applications requiring greater imaging resolution and higher communication bandwidth. The proposed SMO concept uses a cross-field arrangement wherein a rotating electron beam interacts with the fields of a multi-vane cylindrical cavity. The electron beam, produced by a micron-sized cold-cathode, is used to generate a high-power submillimeter wave inside the cavity. The SMO will be fabricated using state-of-the-art MEMS microfabrication technology, and will be a pioneering step towards combining vacuum tube technology with solid-state microfabrication technology. Some of the applications for these new exciting devices include standoff detection of concealed weapons and biological hazards, tabletop accelerators, terahertz high-resolution radar, THz chemical and biological sensing, commercial THz line-of-sight networking and ultrahigh-speed computers. Based on the successful Phase I results we are now ready to perform the prototype development of a submillimeter wave magnetron in Phase II. Once successfully developed, the SMO will be the basis for a new generation of high power submillimeter-wave sources capable of producing ultrahigh frequency radiation with high efficiency in an amazingly compact and lightweight package.