Metamaterial GigaWatt Power Extractor

The Concept

By sending bunches of high energy electrons through a specially designed "tube", microwaves can be generated!

Think of a bell: When you hit a bell sharply with a mallet, it rings at a particular, resonant frequency. Similarly, when you "hit" the tube with a bunch of electrons, the tube "rings", but rather than emitting sound, it emits microwaves.


My Research

My work is focused on the design of the tube, attempting to optimize the amount and type of microwaves that are generated. A CAD model of a most recent iteration is at left. It is designed to generate a 6 ns pulse of 11.7 GHz microwaves at over 1 gigawatt of power. We will soon be testing this structure with an electron beam at the Argonne Wakefield Accelerator in Illinois.


Details: What are "metamaterials"?

The tube is build from a set of alternating plates, at right, that form a "metamaterial" when stacked together. Metamaterials are materials that contain sub-wavelength structures. This means while the material may look like a set of discrete pieces to us, light sees the material as smooth and homogeneous.


This project builds off of the work of a previous graduate student, Xueying Lu. Relevant papers:

X. Lu et al., “Generation of high-power, reversed-Cherenkov wakefield radiation in a metamaterial structure,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 014801 (2019).