Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2023-11-30, 08:55 authored by Xiaojun ZhuXiaojun Zhu

High-power microwave (HPM) devices are generally vacuum-based devices that transform electron beam energy into microwaves with peak powers above 100 MW from 1-300 GHz. Solid-state HPM devices provide more compactness and greater reliability while consuming less power. Nonlinear transmission lines (NLTLs) provide a solid-state alternative to HPM generation by sharpening the input pulses from a pulse forming network to create output oscillations.

The first section of this dissertation evaluates and explores the feasibility of using nonlinear composites containing ferroelectric (e.g., Ba2/3Sr1/3TiO3, BST) and/or ferromagnetic (e.g., Ni1/2Zn1/2 Fe2O4, NZF) inclusions in a linear polymer host (polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS) to tune NLTL properties for HPM applications. Appropriately modelling and designing NLTLs using nonlinear composites require accurately characterizing their linear and nonlinear electromagnetic properties. We first studied the electromagnetic properties of the composites using theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches. Incorporating these composite models and characterizations into NLTL simulations will be discussed.

Vacuum-based HPM devices, such as magnetrons and crossed-field amplifiers, generally operate in the space-charge-limited region, which corresponds to the maximum current possible for insertion into the device. This motivated studying the space-charge-limited current and electron flow in a two-dimensional (2D) planar diode with various crossed-magnetic fields using particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. For non-magnetically insulated diodes (electrons emitted from the cathode can reach the anode), analytical and/or semi-empirical solutions are derived for electrons with nonzero monoenergetic initial velocity that agree well with PIC simulations. For magnetically insulated conditions, we developed new metrics using simulations and analytic theories to assess electron cycloidal and Brillouin flow to understand the implications of increasing injection current for 2D diodes. These analyses provide details on the operation of these devices at high currents, particularly virtual cathode operation, that may elucidate behavior near their limits of operation.


Novel High Power Microwave System Designs using Non-linear Transmission Lines

United States Department of the Navy

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Improving Performance of Crossed-Field Amplifiers Through Modulation Injection

United States Department of the Navy

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Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Allen Garner

Additional Committee Member 2

Peter Bermel

Additional Committee Member 3

Thomas Roth

Additional Committee Member 4

William White