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Monotron Generator of mm Waveband Radiation


Opportunities for Investigation of Development of New Class of Vacuum Microelectronics Devices - Monotron Generators of Mm Waveband Radiation Based on Field Emission Cathodes

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-RAW/Radiofrequency Waves/Physics
  • INF-ELE/Microelectronics and Optoelectronics/Information and Communications

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komashko B A

Leading Institute
NPO ISTOK, Russia, Moscow reg., Fryazino

Supporting institutes

  • National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus / Institute of Electronics, Belarus, Minsk


  • Thomson Tubes Electronics, France, Velizy\nBergische Universität Gesamthochschule Wuppertal, Germany, Wuppertal\nInstitut für Hochfrequenztechnik, Germany, Darmstadt\nCEA / DTA / LETI/CEN Grenoble, France, Grenoble

Project summary

Development of vacuum microwave devices (determined mainly by needs of a defense industry) results in developing of devices possessing high power supply voltage, massive magnetic system, large dimensions and very high cost. Transition to peace applications of the microwave technology quite often puts practically opposite problems: development of devices with modest values of power (units of watts), but having a low power supply voltage, small dimensions, small cost and suitable for mass production. The attempts of the solution of this problem with the help of semi-conductor devices have not brought desirable result till now because of small achievable power in millimeter wave band, small efficiency and high cost.

Today several areas are evident, where progress is restricted just by the absence of inexpensive microwave sources. The development of compact and cheap millimeter-wave devices with power of units watts (and more) can make real revolution and to result in mass manufacturing of consumer products. As example we can point out wireless high-speed lines for digital data transfer (computer networks, Internet, telephony), development of car anticollisional systems, perspective systems of wireless distribution of the cable TV programs - cellular TV (in USA - LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution System) on frequencies 27.5 - 29.5 GHz and in Europe - MVDS (Multipoint Video Distribution System) on frequencies 40.5 - 42.5 GHz). Mass employment of such devices in medicine (millimeter-wave therapy) and for ecological air monitoring (atmosphere pollution control) is possible. And of course the traditional areas of microwave devices applications remain: small radar stations (for example radar systems for small ships and yachts), communications and instrumentation.

Last years a new technological area develops rapidly - vacuum microelectronics (VME) based on applications of field effect cathodes of new generation - field effect arrays, and directed to creation of a class of devices, combining advantages of vacuum and solid-state devices. One of the mostly perspective branches of VME is microwave electronics. However, none microwave device based on new principles was not developed till now, mainly because of the fact that efforts of the experts in a microwave area and organizations, possessing VME technologies, were not joined.

The present project assumes to solve this problem. Its purposes are:

- investigation of original ideas of microwave generation - devices with electron time-of-flight of the order of period of oscillation. In this tubes electrons are emitted at maxima of positive half-waves of microwave voltage in the form of short bunches, which are effectively slown down by rf field during negative half-wave.
- development of new type of planar field effect cathodes, possessing increased values of current and transconductance. Cathodes are based on technology of formation of thin dielectric substrates with precise microrelief as carrying elements of thin-film electrodes.
- creation on this basis a microwave device of new class (vacuum analogues of IMPATT diodes). In comparison with solid-state microwave devices it possesses increased output power and efficiency. Developed specimens of devices should have output power at about 2 W at frequency 35 GHz, voltage less 600 V and efficiency at about 30%.

The significance of this result will be comparable to the invention of the Gunn diode, tunnel diode or IMPATT diode.

Alongside with implementation of researches it is supposed subsequently to create a production base for manufacturing of developed microwave devices for customers.

Some constructive and technological aspects used in considered microelectronic devices have not analogues in the world. The achieved results will form the base for creation of essentially new family of vacuum microwave devices, having advantages of integrated solid-state technology and increased output power, efficiency and stability in extreme conditions peculiar to vacuum electronic devices.

Within the framework of the proposed project participation of a team from the State Research-and-Production Corporation «Istok» (Fryazino) and the employees of Institute of electronics (Minsk) is assumed. Most of them earlier took part in research works of similar directions. SRPC «Istok» will carry out development of the devices concept, design, their manufacturing and research. In Institute of electronics researches on technology of field effect cathodes is proposed to be concentrated.

A foreign collaborators (CEA LETI/DMITEC/SIA/ES 17, Avenue des Martyrs 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9 France) will participate in the project: in discussions of plans of the project, scientific and practical issues connected with it, the prospects of using of development's results; searching for potential customers among radioengineering companies.


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