Compact, Diamond-Based, High-Frequency Amplifier

Period of Performance: 07/28/1996 - 12/31/1996


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

George Mason University
4400 University Drive MS 4C6
Fairfax, VA 22030
Institution POC

Research Topics


We propose the study of an efficient high-frequency, diamond-based harmonic amplifier (HARA), which appears to be suitable for applications such as BMDO's sensor systems. In the HARA mechanism, an input cavity modulates a low-energy pencil beam. An electron-gain stage (MTI dynode), comprised by a high secondary-electron yield diamond foil, is employed to amplify the current of the scanned beam by 50-fold. After the gain stage, the beam is post-accelerated and is injected into an output cavity designed to hold a rotating mode. Efficient energy extraction from the rotating beam is obtained by the electric field of the output mode at a frequency that is several times higher than the drive frequency. Due to the fact that the HARA is compact, light-weight, and does not require a focusing magnetic field, it should be suitable for airborne and mobile applications, and other commercial applications where size, weight, and efficiency are critical. Detailed non-linear analysis and multi-particle, three-dimensional, particle-in-cell simulation of this concept are proposed in order to characterize key parameters such as dynode gain, output power, maximum efficiency, and gain. ANTICIPATED BENEFITS/POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: This compact amplifier should be able to efficiently produce hundreds of kilowatts of electromagnetic radiation in the 35 Ghz regime and above, with a gain of 20-40 dB and with an electronic efficiency as high as 70%. If successful, this microwave source should efficiently provide coherent high-power microwave radiation for several applications that require high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. Of particular interest are amplifiers for BMDO's sensor systems.