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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S00968X/1
Title: SHeet Electron beam vacuum eLectronic Devices for the generation of hIGH power THz radiation
Principal Investigator: Cross, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Phelps, Professor ADR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr W He
Project Partners:
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy TMD Technologies Ltd University of Birmingham
University of Grenoble 1
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 05 March 2019 Ends: 04 March 2021 Value (£): 360,543
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Jul 2018 RF and Microwave Devices Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
THz frequency (300GHz to 1THz) radiation sources are used in a number of diverse applications such as radars, the study of the fundamental properties of materials, security imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, plasma diagnostics, medical imaging and chemical sensing. The power that can be generated from 'bench top' free electron radiation sources in the hundreds of GHz to THz frequency range has been limited by the fact that as the frequency is increased, the size of the interaction region has to be reduced in order to prevent the maser becoming overmoded which results in a loss of the temporal or spatial coherence of the output radiation. As the frequency increases it becomes increasingly difficult (if not impossible) using conventional thermionic cathodes to focus and form high current density, high quality electron beams through the small size interaction region of the THz maser. A pseudospark plasma cathode can overcome current density limitations imposed by thermionic emission as well as being able to generate a sheet electron beam without the need to use an external magnetic field.

A psuedospark-sourced sheet electron beam will be used to power a planar Extended Interaction Klystron Amplifier (EIKA) which is extended in one direction as compared to conventional EIKAs based on a cylindrical electron beam produced by a thermionic cathode. A 12mW, 365GHz signal generated by a solid state source will amplified to 100W by the Pseudospark Sheet beam planar Extended Interaction Klystron Amplifier (PS-EIKA). As no guide magnetic field is required the PS-EIKA will be compact, reliable, robust and can generate 100ns duration pulses at high (kHz) pulse repetition frequencies. In addition a pseudospark source sheet electron beam will be used to drive a planar Extended Interaction Oscillator (EIKO) to generate 10W of output power at 1THz. The proposed research will be conducted jointly by two leading research groups in microwave device engineering with complementary expertise, in Univ. of Strathclyde and QMUL.

Knowledge of pseudospark Extended Interaction Klystron amplifier (PS-EIKA) and oscillator design and construction will be transferred to our Project Partner. A community network of THz amplifier users in magnetic resonance spectroscopy, plasma diagnostics and mm-wave radar applications will be built up to the benefit of future co-created research collaborations. These include the use of the PS-EIKA in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and to improve the sensitivity by many orders of magnitude of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) through DNP techniques. The EPR and DNP enhanced NMR (including the possibility of pulsed DNP-NMR and the use of phase and amplitude modulation) experiments will strongly enhance the UK's position as a world leader in a wide range of academic research areas in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and medicine. These sources are also of national and international importance in the areas of magnetically confined fusion for plasma diagnostics and mm-wave radar systems.

New high power sub-millimetre wave amplifiers and terahertz oscillators will be constructed for radically improved sensitivities in NMR/DNP and EPR instruments in high magnetic fields, enhanced plasma diagnostics and THz imaging. Network activities as part of the proposal will bring together leading groups/industries in the magnetic resonance spectroscopy, microwave plasma diagnostics community and the high power amplifier and microwave/mm-wave source community. Increased capability in these areas as well as enhanced capability to measure fast and slow moving objects using sub-millimetre wave radars will be exploited via our Project Partner. All network members have an outstanding track record in relevant technology and methodology development and all have strong links with National and International applications programs with multiple collaborators across RF and Microwave science and technology application areas.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk