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Nanoscale surface roughness effects on THz vacuum electron device performance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology
Issue number1
Volume15
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)85-93
Publication statusPublished
Early online date25/11/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Vacuum electron devices are the most promising solution for the generation of watt-level power at millimeter wave and terahertz frequencies. However, the three dimensional nature of metal structures required to provide an effective interaction between an electron beam and THz signal poses significant fabrication challenges. At increasing frequency, losses present a serious detrimental effect on performance. In particular, the skin depth, on the order of one hundred nanometers or less, constrains the maximum acceptable surface roughness of the metal surfaces to be below those values. Microfabrication techniques have proven, in principle, to achieve values of surface roughness at the nanometer scale; however, the use of different metals and affordable microfabrication techniques requires further investigation for a repeatable quality of the metal surfaces. This paper compares, for the first time, the nanoscale surface roughness of metal THz waveguides realized by the main microfabrication techniques. In particular, two significant examples are considered: a 0.346 THz backward wave tube oscillator and a 0.263 THz traveling wave tube.

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©2015 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.