Miniature Sub-millimeter Wave Magnetron Oscillator

Period of Performance: 12/10/2005 - 05/09/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator


We propose the development of a revolutionary miniature submillimeter-wave magnetron oscillator (SMO) that will provide multi-milliwatt 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 wave inside the cavity. The SMO should be easily 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. Detailed numerical and computational analysis of this concept are is proposed during Phase I in order to evaluate key issues such as stability, maximum output power and efficiency. 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.