4, APRIL 2014

Design of a Metamaterial-Based
Backward-Wave Oscillator
Jason Samuel Hummelt, Student Member, IEEE, Samantha M. Lewis, Michael A. Shapiro, Member, IEEE,
and Richard J. Temkin, Fellow, IEEE

Abstract— In this paper, we present the design of a microwave called double-negative MTMs in various engineering applica-
generator using metamaterials (MTMs) in a negative index tions, including perfect lens design, electromagnetic cloaking,
waveguide interacting with a high-power electron beam. The advanced antenna design, accelerator applications, and coher-
microwave structure is formed by inserting two MTM plates
loaded with complementary split-ring-resonators (CSRRs) into ent microwave generation [3], [4]. Of interest to this paper is
a rectangular waveguide. Electromagnetic simulations using the the use of MTMs in microwave generation, on which a limited
high-frequency structure simulator code confirm the presence of amount of theoretical and experimental work has already been
a negative index TM-like mode suitable for use in a backward- performed [5]– [9]. The challenges faced in the construction of
wave oscillator (BWO). Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations using most vacuum electron devices (high-power microwave fields,
the computer simulation technology (CST) Particle Studio code
are performed to evaluate the efficiency of an S-Band MTM- vacuum environment, frequency tunability, and so on) place
based BWO (MTMBWO) excited by a 500 keV, 80-A electron unique design considerations on a MTM which are not present
beam. After about 250 ns, the MTMBWO reaches a saturated in optics or low-power microwave electronics.
output power of 5.75 MW with an efficiency of 14% at a The use of high-power electron beams to produce or amplify
frequency near 2.6 GHz. The MTMBWO is also modeled by rep- coherent microwave radiation is a well-established yet active
resenting the MTM plates, which consist of CSRRs, as dielectric
slabs whose effective permittivity is given by a Lorentzian model. area of research [10]. Traveling wave tubes (TWTs) and
The dielectric slab model is also simulated with the CST PIC backward-wave oscillators (BWOs) are both common types of
code and shows good qualitative agreement with the simulations microwave generators that rely on Cerenkov or Smith–Purcell
including the CSRR loaded plates. A cold test structure was radiation from an electron beam interacting with a slow wave
fabricated from brass to test the theoretical predictions of the (phase velocity v ph < c) to produce coherent radiation. While
microwave transmission versus frequency of the negative index
waveguide. Test results using a vector network analyzer showed the physical description of both devices is quite similar, the
very good agreement with the simulations for the excitation of TWT amplifies a microwave signal traveling with the elec-
the negative index TM-like mode near 2.6 GHz. The proposed tron beam and the BWO generates a backward wave (group
structure appears to be promising for use in a MTMBWO high- velocity v gr < 0) traveling in the opposite direction of the
power microwave generator. beam.
Index Terms— Backward-wave oscillator (BWO), metamaterial Arrays of split-ring resonators (SRRs) were introduced as
(MTM), plasma waves, vacuum electronics. a means of achieving an effective negative permeability in a
bulk material [11]. When used in conjunction with an array of
I. I NTRODUCTION metallic posts, one can create a negative index medium, hav-
ing simultaneous negative permeability and permittivity. The
M ETAMATERIALS (MTMs) have unique electromag-
netic properties with the potential to open new pos-
sibilities in the design of high-power microwave devices.
electric analog of the SRR, the complementary-SRR (CSRR)
has been shown to produce a negative permittivity [12].
One unique property of MTMs is the ability to support In addition, a TM mode in a below-cutoff waveguide is equiv-
negative index modes due to a simultaneous negative effec- alent to a negative effective permeability medium. To create a
tive permittivity and permeability [1], [2]. Subwavelength waveguide that supports a negative index mode, we propose
resonant structures are used to create macroscopic negative the use of CSRRs in a below-cutoff waveguide. Since a TM
effective parameters. There has been much experimental and mode is of interest for interacting axially with an electron
theoretical work to investigate the application of these so beam, two parallel CSRR plates running along the electron
beam trajectory are used. The geometrical arrangement of the
Manuscript received December 16, 2013; revised February 7, 2014; accepted MTM layers is shown to affect the properties of the modes
February 19, 2014. Date of publication March 25, 2014; date of current version
April 8, 2014. This work was supported by AFOSR MURI under Grant they support, which has also been discussed in [13].
FA9550-12-1-0489 through the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, In a mode with negative dispersion, power flows antiparallel
USA. to the electron beam’s motion. While the interaction is similar
The authors are with the Plasma Science and Fusion Center,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA in nature to a traditional BWO, it is unique in that a conven-
(e-mail: hummelt@mit.edu; lewissamim@gmail.com; shapiro@psfc.mit.edu; tional BWO relies upon the interaction of an electron beam
temkin@mit.edu). with spatial harmonics of a slow-wave structure. In a negative
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available
online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. index guide, a mode with negative group velocity is supported
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TPS.2014.2309597 by the simultaneous negative permittivity and permeability
0093-3813 © 2014 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.
See http://www.ieee.org/publications_standards/publications/rights/index.html for more information.

one with E z ≈ 0 at the axis at ∼2 GHz and a is constructed by placing two periodic MTM plates into a TM-like (Hz = 0 at the axis) at ∼2. MTM devices may have l1 × l2 is given by the relation some advantages over conventional slow-wave vacuum elec. not expected to interact strongly with the electron beam and respectively. and v 0 = 0. The MTMBWO modes. start current. The CSRRs have The frequency of the BWO interaction for the negative index TM-like mode period p = 8 mm and width h = 41 mm.65 GHz. 1. Other frequency devices can also be 500-keV electron. In Fig. size WR340 waveguide with a separation of d = 42 mm. 1. along with both the E LECTROMAGNETIC S IMULATIONS beam line 2π f = k z v 0 and the light line 2π f = k z c. 1. The use of MTMs in a (inner dimensions 86 mm × 43 mm).HUMMELT et al. The MTM structure proposed here is a planar 1 π2 π2 fc = √ + (1) structure formed as a metal plate. impedance. Dispersion relation for one period of the MTMBWO shown in Fig. f c . of the guide. 1(c). and so on) [20]. In Fig. (a) Simplified schematic of one period of CSRR MTM plate.86 c is the velocity of a in S-Band (2–4 GHz). waveguide f c = 3. Schematics of one period of the MTM axial field is small. CSRRs are machined into two metal plates of thickness t = 1 mm and inserted into a standard Fig. [21]. 1(a) and (b). of the lowest order TM of the physical principles of the operation of an MTM-based mode in a rectangular waveguide of transverse dimensions vacuum electron device. 2. The magnitude of the group velocity of .5 mm. the negative index mode at 2 GHz is plate and of the structure are shown in Fig. S TRUCTURE D ESIGN AND from the HFSS simulation is shown. The overall length of the structure is A major motivation of the present study is the understanding 440 mm. Because the rectangular waveguide. (b) Simplified schematic of MTMBWO waveguide. The eigenmode simulations also than a wavelength. which is WR284 sive effect of the plasma without creating the problem of actu. k z MTM-based BWO (MTMBWO) structure that will operate is the wavenumber. such as coupled cavities.90 GHz. 2. a structure waveguide provides a means to artificially duplicate the disper. MTMBWO structure. which can of low frequency (<10 GHz) microwave generators and be used to estimate BWO performance parameters (coupling amplifiers where structure size can be a limiting factor. is shown with output coupling included. we show a specific design for a proposed 2π f is the angular frequency. Another potential advantage of the MTM device is its The eigenmode solver of the high-frequency structure sim- operation in a waveguide below cutoff.5 GHz. to the CSRR plates. Because of Further miniaturization could be achieved using alternative symmetry along the center of the structure in the plane parallel MTM elements. where the period p = 8 mm and width h = 41 mm along two metal group velocity v gr ≡ ∂ω/∂k < 0 and the phase velocity plates of thickness t = 1 mm. In Fig.: DESIGN OF A MTM-BASED BWO 931 Fig. The structure supports two negative index designed by scaling the structure shown. (c) Semitransparent view of total predicted by HFSS is 2. The designed to be below cutoff for TM modes in the waveguide. The resonant frequency of the MTM plates is is also not observed in particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. Large scale manufacturing 2π 0 μ0 l12 l22 of a device with planar (2-D) elements is inherently sim- where 0 and μ0 are the free space permittivity and perme- pler and easier to fabricate than a structure that has a 3-D ability. created by mating WR284 waveguide to the MTMBWO. (inner dimensions 76 mm × 34 mm) waveguide mated to the ally producing and sustaining a plasma in a microwave tube. beam line intersects the dispersion relation for the negative The MTM plates are created by machining CSRRs with index TM-like mode at approximately 2.65 GHz. which allows the ulator (HFSS) code is used to simulate the eigenmodes of one transverse dimensions of the structure to be much smaller period of the total structure. In addition. Here.  tron devices. These plates are then placed with a support modes with negative group velocity makes use of separation of d = 42 mm in a standard size WR340 waveguide plasmonic waveguides [14]–[19]. the dispersion relation calculated II. The cutoff frequency. c is the speed of light. The resonators have a slot v ph ≡ ω/k > 0. This is important in the miniaturization generate 3-D E and H field vectors in the structure. structure including output coupling. A related approach in creating structures that width of a = 2. respectively. a perfect-H boundary was used to reduce simulation time. For an empty 43 mm×86 mm rectangular interaction slow-wave structure.

Of particular interest is the performance of the MTMBWO when compared against a more conventional BWO. Fig. the device has reached saturation. above which the device will oscillate with zero input signal. From [21. tsa = 258 ns is the saturation time of the structure and Pst = 5.595 GHz. Start current as a function of total structure length for the design Fig. A uniform and (C N)3st λ3z axial magnetic field of 1. Ist . The electron to be Z = 46 . PIC-S IMULATION R ESULTS AND D ISCUSSION where |E w | is the component of the electric field parallel to the direction of and in phase with the electron beam. length 438 mm. 42. As the bunches travel along the axis. one operates the BWO at ∼3× the start current. I0 is the beam current. Table 8.e. A variable and magnetic field profiles generated by the HFSS eigenmode current (60. From (3). and k z0 is the wavenumber.75 MW defines the stationary power output. 5 is a plot 4U0 of the electron density for the same simulation taken at 400 ns Here. and 100 A) and a 500 keV (v 0 = 0.2 mm is used for the simulations. Increasing the current well beyond the start current (>7×) can result in automodulation of the output power as the device enters a stochastic regime. Here.5 kG is used for all simulations. in [22]. P is We use the PIC solver of computer simulation technology the power flux. The numerical (CST) Particle Studio to investigate the performance of the value of the coupling impedance is calculated from the electric MTMBWO utilizing a relativistic electron beam. The coupling impedance is given by the relation λz ≈ 9 cm. and C a simulation of a 438-mm long MTMBWO structure using is the Pierce parameter given by an 80-A electron beam. 4. 3. Plot of electron density showing the formation of axial bunches at in [21].075 c. 1. λz = 2π/k z is the longitudinal the power generated and coupled out of the structure. To estimate the start current for the MTMBWO. 4. The start current is then readily calculated beam simulated was a dc beam with a 4 ns rise time to reach from full current from zero initial starting current. (4) power was produced at 2. and beam parameters. Traditionally.1]. such as a rippled wall device.75-MW average I0 Z C3 = . 80. they start to harmonic operation. Z= 2 P (2) 2k z0 III. In such a microwave generator there is a start current for oscillation. . Shown in Fig. The electron density shown is taken 400 ns after the injection of |E w |2 the electron beam. mode of interaction. 5. This type of behavior has been observed in both theory and experiment. 1(c) and were used to record Z L3 where U0 is the beam energy. 3 as a function of structure length. the negative index TM-like mode at the point of intersection with the beam line is |v gr | ≈ 0. Output power as a function of time for 80 A in a structure of shown in Fig.314 for zeroth-order axial the device.. L is the total length of the structure. the start current is plotted in break up as they lose energy to the wave and due to space Fig. wavelength (9. NO.932 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE. Ist = 4U0 (3) Output ports are shown in Fig. charge. as shown. APRIL 2014 Fig. The device takes 260 ns to reach a stationary output power regime where 5. the start that clearly demonstrates the formation of electron bunches in condition (C N)st is taken to be 0. The start current depends on the device geometry. 4 shows the output power as a function of time for N = L/λz is the number of longitudinal wavelengths. we use a loss-less linear theory outlined Fig. The Fourier transform of the output signal after saturation is reached is shown in the inset. for example.86 c) beam simulation for the negative index TM-like mode and is found of radius 2.6 cm). VOL. i.

At 100 A there is automodulation of the output power. corresponding to waveguide as the MTMBWO (WR340) is used to provide a . large mesh sizes. The model is shown in Fig.HUMMELT et al. as accurately affected by the RF field and a slight increase in the beam meshing the subwavelength resonators can make for extremely radius is visible as the beam exits the MTMBWO structure. E FFECTIVE M EDIUM PIC-S IMULATION R ESULTS AND D ISCUSSION A standard and convenient way to interpret the dispersive qualities of a MTM is by use of an effective medium model. tigated in the previous section. 6. We again use the PIC solver in CST Particle Studio to In Fig.3 times the start current. i.. the nominal start current MTM plates. providing an plot is also from the same simulation and taken at 400 ns.7 and 8. 80. Both snapshots are taken 400 ns after the injection of the electron beam. and 100 A. (b) Electric field magnitude in the MTMBWO. 4. respectively. 7. and 100 A. 6(a). 7. indicating the backwardness of the using an effective medium was used in [5]. effective negative permittivity or permeability at the frequency The energy of individual particles is indicated by their color. which is indicated by the multifrequency operation in the output spectra. The structure length for all three simulations was 462 mm. with a bulk material can save simulation time. and 100 A beam for a fixed length of 462 mm. Fig. Instead of using CSRR-based Using the results of (3) and Fig. The individual energy of each particle is indicated by the color scale. (a) Cross section of the MTMBWO showing particle trajectories for a 438-mm long structure. the simulation of a MTM using and distinct electron bunches are visible. More practically..5% is predicted for the 438-mm long structure using 80 A. 3. Output efficiency is an important figure of merit when comparing the MTMBWO against more traditional BWO designs. mode. of interest). vidual MTM resonators as a bulk material with an effective permittivity or permeability [23]. the output power and spectrum are shown for simulate a MTM-based BWO similar to the MTMBWO inves- a 60. Fig. 9. 6(b). The output efficiency. Dashed lines are included as a guide for the eye. This resonators are indeed acting as a MTM (i. The field strength is greatest close to the MTM plates. which is shown in Fig. 8 as a function of structure length for three different beam currents.e. the waveguide which models the dispersive qualities of the A clear change in the behavior of the MTMBWO is visible as CSRRs. Thus substituting the actual MTM resonators The electric field magnitude at this time is shown in Fig. 80. IV. Note that for an interaction length of 438 mm and a beam current of 80 A the automodulation instability is absent. A similar The field grows from zero at the electron beam exit to its peak approach to simulate a MTM interacting with an electron beam value at the beam entrance. 80. the device has reached saturation. Comparison between such a model and actual MTM resonators can verify that the A plot of the electron trajectories is shown in Fig. calculated by taking the average steady-state power output at the output ports divided by the beam power is shown in Fig. A peak efficiency of 14. an isotropic effective medium is inserted into for the MTMBWO is 12 A for a 462-mm long structure. 6. where the same outer the current is increased from 80 to 100 A. 8. Output efficiency versus structure length for I = 60.e. Output powers and power spectra of stationary outputs for currents of which treats the collective electromagnetic behavior of indi- 60.: DESIGN OF A MTM-BASED BWO 933 Fig. The beam size is a PIC code can be computationally intensive.

frequency of the CSRRs. where ω p is the plasma frequency and ω0 is the resonant The device saturates at 3 MW and the frequency is 2. Using the Drude model.3 GHz and the plasma frequency is of the guide.e. but the CSRR plates have been replaced are taken 700 ns after the injection of the electron beam. U0 = 500 keV. We find the resonance the presence of the slab interfered with power coupling out to be at ω0 = 2π · 2. The magnitude parameters to replicate the CSRR loaded plates [25]. a more Fig.e.62 GHz is close to the actual MTMBWO in the simulations of the MTMBWO.90 GHz is the cutoff frequency of the fundamental TM mode. The overall length of the structure is L = 438-mm long. Different slab widths w were investi- dispersion of the MTMBWO. [24] ω2p guide outside of the dielectric slab (i. As the slab thickness has been shown to be determined to be ω p = 2π · 1. 4. 10...7 GHz. NO. are consistent with those used medium operation frequency of 2. Although of the electric field is displayed in Fig. VOL. The particular numerical values which is near the output frequency of the MTMBWO of are chosen for these two frequencies from the dispersion the same length at 2. 11. Output power and power spectrum of the full output signal for the beam parameters used. in the beam tunnel and eff = 1 − (6) above and below the slab). 11. Coupling power out of the structure is identical in both the effective medium model and MTMBWO.934 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE. 6(b).595 GHz and approximately half of relation obtained by the HFSS eigenmode solver to mimic the the saturated power. 6(a). The device is identical to the MTMBWO (b) Electric field magnitude in the effective medium BWO. and structure in Fig. and the numerical value was calculated for the WR340 waveguide using (1). Both snapshots introduced in the previous section. negative permeability. I = 80 A. important in the overall response of MTM layers. they do Fig. For ω < ωc . Effective medium BWO. the resonance and plasma frequencies in (6) with some variation in output power and saturation time. The output power as a function of ω2 − ω02 time and the Fourier transform of this signal is given in Fig. The electron Fig. Two dielectric slabs of width w = 12 mm are placed in the same location as the CSRR loaded plates in the MTMBWO.595 GHz. are determined from the dispersion relation (shown in Fig. Comparing the results of the analysis provided by this model are not in this with the fields shown for the CSRR-based MTMBWO in exact agreement with the exact MTMBWO structure. 9. Since the permittivity is given gated. The structure simulated was 438-mm long. which corresponds to letting to the guide. i. and as the slab was made very large (>20 mm) k z p → ∞ and k z p → 0. we see a similar field structure in the region of the provide valuable physical insight [26]. the permeability of the waveguide is negative. 2) For w = 1 mm the slab was too thin for the beam to couple by letting  → ∞ and  → 0. . the device has by an isotropic dielectric slab of width w = 12 mm and permittivity modeled reached saturation.62 GHz.2 mm. respectively. A Lorentz model for structure of the same length at 2. The effective beam radius rb = 2. by (6). Note the qualitative similarity to Fig. 10(a) shows the particle trajectories and formation of detailed analysis would be necessary to determine exact slab electron bunches due to the BWO interaction. [24]: ωc2 μeff = 1 − (5) ω2 where ωc = 2π · 3. the permeabil- ity of a waveguide follows the expression [3]. (a) Cross section of the effective medium BWO showing particle trajectories for a 438-mm long structure. 42. with 3 to 20 mm having a similar frequency response by  = c2 k 2 /ω2 . 9. which is given by the relation [3]. APRIL 2014 Fig. Fig. The individual energy of each particle is indicated by the color scale. 10(b). the dispersion of the effective medium is used.

d = 16 mm. “Negative refractive index in left-handed MTMBWO test structure. . and was chosen for simplicity of design.HUMMELT et al. 12. The potential benefits of a MTM-based microwave generator over con- ventional sources has been discussed. vol. 2000. Kroll. Efficiency The test structure and schematics are shown in Fig. Coupling to the negative index mode was nontrivial Finally. The MTMBWO structure made of brass were performed using a device operates as a BWO with the negative index mode vector network analyzer (VNA).6 GHz is highlighted in light blue. S. Rev. pp. Schultz. Nemat-Nasser. minimize reflection near the operation frequency. 80-A operation. S TRUCTURE C OLD T EST R ESULTS manufacturability and miniaturization. CST PIC simulations have of various coupling schemes to MTM devices has been inves. In this test design. 1 except with at 500 keV.” Phys. 2000. The MTM plates were Lorentzian response. Smith. Smith and N. An effective medium model is p = 7 mm. and This matched the polarization of electric field in the funda. to verify the electromagnetic design of the MTM since the electric field topology of the negative index mode in device a test structure was designed and tested using a VNA. Vier. The overall structure presented. and with the CST PIC code and the output power and frequency are the MTM resonators were created by machining out two brass in qualitative agreement with the full MTM PIC simulations. This coupling scheme is different materials. [1] D.. Lett. The planned operation frequency of the MTMBWO near 2. Padilla. which models the MTM as a dielectric with a length was 20 periods (160 mm). plates. 18. along with a simulation of the same setup using CST Microwave Studio in red. 4184–4187. Fig. [28]. and a = 2 mm. use with a 500 keV and 60–100-A electron beam. The model structure is also simulated aligned in the WR340 waveguide by end supporting plates. coupling was accomplished through WR284 R EFERENCES waveguide mated to the side of the MTMBWO test structure. HFSS eigenmode sim- To validate the electromagnetic response of the MTMBWO ulations have been presented to confirm the presence of the design. 13 in blue. The photo is taken looking into one of the identical VI. than that used in the PIC simulations of the MTMBWO. no. J. The negative index mode in the test CSRR structure is excited by the fundamental mode of the The design of a microwave generator using MTMs in a input WR284 waveguide. 13. and transmission measurements confirmed the presence and Several coupling designs were investigated to try and excitation of the negative index mode. The transmission measure- ment is shown in Fig. Rev. negative index waveguide has been presented. 12. 14. C. C. 2933–2936. R. R. vol. been used to demonstrate the performance of the device in tigated due to the importance for real-world MTMs [27]. no. The of >14% is observed with saturated output of 5. of the axial field in the negative index TM-like mode of the [2] D. including increased V. Coax to WR284 waveguide adapters are used to excite the fundamental TE mode in the WR284 waveguide.75 MW structure is identical to that shown in Fig. D. 85. 84. Lett. pp. S. W. the MTMBWO is unlike the fundamental waveguide mode. Experimental measurements supported by the MTM plates.: DESIGN OF A MTM-BASED BWO 935 Fig. (a) Schematics and (b) photograph of test structure and CSRR loaded thin brass plate. C ONCLUSION WR284 input ports for coupling in/out of the structure.. Transmission measurement of the test MTMBWO structure (blue) compared with CST Microwave Studio simulation (red).” Phys. “Composite medium with simultaneously negative perme- mental TE mode of the WR284 waveguide and the polarization ability and permittivity. The planned operation frequency band is highlighted in light blue. measurements of microwave transmission in a test negative index mode and estimate coupling to the beam. Excitation of the negative index mode is demonstrated by nonzero transmission where the negative index mode was predicted by HFSS eigenmode simulation.

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