Terahertz Travelling Wave Tube Amplifier

The objective of the proposed research is to conduct a design and simulation study on novel terahertz traveling wave tube amplifier (TWTA) to support future advanced terahertz systems.
The terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum between 100 GHz and 10 THz (wavelength range from 3000 μm to 30 μm) occupies a large portion of the spectrum between the infrared and microwave bands. Compared to the relatively well-developed science and technology at microwave, optical and x-ray frequencies, basic research, new initiatives and advanced technology studies in the terahertz band are very limited and remain relatively unexplored. The shorter wavelengths at terahertz frequencies allow the use of smaller and lighter components, which is important in many applications. In addition, compared to infrared and optical wavelengths, atmospheric attenuation in the terahertz region is relatively low. The terahertz region has exceptional potential for advanced electronics materials spectroscopy, space research, medicine, biology, and high data rate communications. Some short range demonstration systems have been produced for medical applications and for security gates at airports. Using terahertz carrier frequencies, oscillator would enable very high data rate ( > 10 Gbits/s) wireless communications with high security protection.
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) proposes a radically new approach compared to the current existing terahertz sources: a microfabricated ladder and folded waveguide slow-wave structure TWTA which offers a new solution and significant promise for lighter and more practical millimeter-wave power amplifiers. Advantages of the ladder and folded waveguide structure over the conventional slow wave structures include higher interaction impedance, ease of cooling, frequency tuning with voltage change over wide bandwidth, sturdy mechanical structure, and ease of manufacturing. TWTA components including interaction circuit, electron gun, and focusing structure will be investigated using analytical theory and simulation tools.