The information that follows summarizes the important points presented in this chapter.
The use of microwave frequencies forced the development of special tubes to offset the limitations caused by interelectrode capacitance, lead inductance, and electron transit-time effects in conventional tubes. Microwave tubes, such as the klystron and twt, take advantage of transit-time effects through the use of VELOCITY MODULATION to amplify and generate microwave energy.
The KLYSTRON is a velocity-modulated tube which may be used as an amplifier or oscillator. The klystron, when used as an amplifier, requires at least two resonant cavities, the buncher and the catcher. A diagram of a basic klystron is shown at the right.
The REFLEX KLYSTRON, shown at the right, is used only as an oscillator and uses only one cavity to bunch and collect the electrons. The frequency is determined by the size and shape of the cavity. The reflex klystron has several possible modes of operation which are determined by electron transit time. Electron transit time is controlled by the REPELLER voltage.
The TWT is a wide-bandwidth, velocity-modulated tube used primarily as an amplifier. The electron beam is bunched by a signal applied to the HELIX. The bunching causes an energy transfer from the electron beam to the traveling wave on the helix.
The MAGNETRON is a DIODE OSCILLATOR capable of delivering microwave energy at very high power levels. Three fields exist within a magnetron that influence operation: (1) the DC ELECTRIC FIELD between the anode and cathode; (2) the AC ELECTRIC FIELD produced by the oscillating resonant cavities and on the same plane as the dc field; and (3) the MAGNETIC FIELD produced by the permanent magnet which is perpendicular to the dc electric field.
Magnetrons are of two basic types, the NEGATIVE-RESISTANCE MAGNETRON and the ELECTRON-RESONANCE MAGNETRON. A diagram of a magnetron is shown at the right.
SOLID-STATE MICROWAVE DEVICES are becoming increasingly widespread in microwave equipment with new developments almost daily. Most of the currently available solid-state devices are two-terminal diodes with the capability to generate or amplify microwave energy. Many of the solid-state devices, such as the TUNNEL DIODE and the BULK-EFFECT DIODE, apply the property of NEGATIVE RESISTANCE to amplify microwave signals or generate microwave energy. A characteristic curve illustrating the negative-resistance property of the tunnel diode is shown at the right.
The VARACTOR is a two-terminal diode that acts as a variable capacitance and is the active element of PARAMETRIC AMPLIFIERS. The parametric amplifier is a low-noise microwave amplifier that uses variable reactance to amplify microwave signals. The illustration shows an example of a NONDEGENERATIVE PARAMETRIC AMPLIFIER.