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IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Vol. 22, No.

4; August 2015 2057

Dielectric Loaded TM01 to TE11 Mode Converter


for S-band Applications
Ashish Chittora, Jayanta Mukherjee
Electrical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400076, India

Sandeep Singh and Archana Sharma


Accelerator and Pulse Power Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400085, India

ABSTRACT
In this paper, a compact, high efficiency TM01 to TE11 mode converter is presented. In
the proposed structure, dielectric material is loaded below a tapered centre conductor,
in lower section of a circular waveguide. The input TM01 mode is initially transformed
to TEM mode by the tapered centre conductor. The loaded dielectric material is
designed to provide the desired phase shift for the mode conversion. Different dielectric
materials are analyzed for loading to achieve high conversion efficiency and wide
bandwidth. The proposed mode converter is fabricated with PTFE as dielectric for
mode conversion and the results are verified through far field radiation pattern
measurements. The mode conversion efficiency is more than 90% for 2.95-3.60 GHz
band. Due to compactness and high conversion efficiency for wide bandwidth, it is
suitable for S-band high power microwave (HPM) applications.
Index Terms - Dielectric loaded waveguides, pulse power system, microwave
propagation.

1 INTRODUCTION with linear shape [9-16] also exist, which increase the
compactness of HPM system. Generally, these converters
HIGH Power Microwave (HPM) sources can generate employ intermediate modes in mode conversion process. In
few Megawatts to maximum upto Gigawatt level HPM [9], TEM and rectangular TE10 modes are introduced to
output signal in the form of TM01 mode. Azimuthally achieve TE11 mode as output. The TM01 to TE11 mode
symmetric modes (TM01 or TEM) are effective way to conversion can be achieved by phase shift using centre-
convert the energy of accelerated electron beam into high conductor and metallic plates of different length, as
power microwave. But these modes on radiation produce proposed in [10-13]. In [14], an antenna is designed for
divergent beam resulting into null or minimum power on mode conversion with dielectric lens, which results in
the boresight or propagation axis. Mode converters are circularly polarized TE11 mode and reduction in the overall
useful devices in order to achieve maximum power at the length of the system. Metallic photonic crystal based mode
boresigth. Since TE11 circular waveguide mode produces converter is reported in [15], which employs periodic
convergent beam when radiated through a conical horn metallic structure for phase shift. In [16], folded rectangular
antenna, mode converters which converts TM01 mode into waveguide (RWG) sections achieve the mode conversion.
TE11 mode are to be designed. The mode converter must The necessary phase shift was provided by taking different
also have wide bandwidth to withstand the frequency lengths of RWG sections and a centre conductor. This
instability of HPM source. The HPM systems are large in mode converter gives circularly polarized TE11 mode as
size; therefore compactness of the system is also an output.
important issue while designing the mode converter. HPM sources are reported with relatively low output
In [1-8], the reported TM01 to TE11 mode converters use power, e.g. Virtual Cathode Oscillator (Vircator) [17],
serpentine shaped or dual bent circular waveguide for direct Plasma Assisted Slow Wave Oscillator (Pasotron) [18-20],
mode conversion. In these structures, the input and output Cerenkov [21], Gyrotron [22] and Travelling Wave
ports are not aligned on same axis and therefore they are Amplifier [23]. In this paper, the concept of phase shift by
difficult to fabricate and install. Mode converters designs dielectric material loading is investigated for TM01 to TE11
mode conversion. Design principle of the mode converter is
Manuscript received on 29 October 2014, in final form 28 February 2015, explained in detail in section 2. In subsection 3.1, analysis
accepted 14 April 2015. with different dielectric materials is given for selecting

DOI 10.1109/TDEI.2015.005038
2058 A. Chittora et al.: Dielectric Loaded TM01 to TE11 Mode Converter for S-band Applications

suitable material for loading. Analysis with respect to


design parameters of dielectric material is presented in
subsection 3.2. Subsection 3.3 describes the experiments
and results, which are performed to verify the desired mode
conversion.

2 DESIGN PRINCIPLE
The output power from the HPM source is generally
TM01 mode and has null or minimum at the centre of its
radiation pattern. TM01 mode can be easily converted to
TEM mode by inserting the centre conductor in circular
waveguide with matching nose cone section [10-11] or
tapering at the input side of centre conductor. The
orientation of electric field lines for TM01 or TEM mode in
a circular waveguide is such that there is 1800 phase
difference in upper and lower half. If upper and lower half
of the field pattern is separated and 1800 phase difference is
introduced in lower half of the electric field, then upper and
lower half of the electric field will meet in phase at the
output. This will result into the field configuration like TE11
mode as shown in Figure 1. Figure 2. Front view, back view and top view of proposed mode converter
with design parameters.

with respect to upper section of the waveguide. As the


permittivity of dielectric material is higher than air/vacuum,
the electric field concentration is higher in dielectric. This
is the reason the filling fraction is less than 1800 and
metallic plates are inclined at an angle of θ to equalize the
field content in lower and upper SWG section. Using this
concept initial value of angle θ can be calculated using
following equations:

(  2 ) 0 E  (  2 )E (1)

Where, ε0E and εE are electric flux density in air and


Figure 1. The process of mode conversion demonstrated for the proposed dielectric respectively.
mode converter through E-field distribution at different cross sections
along z-axis.
   0 
   (2)
In the proposed mode converter the input TM01 mode is 2     0 
first converted to TEM mode by introducing centre
conductor in the circular waveguide. By converting to TEM   r 1
   (3)
2   r  1 
mode, excitation of extraneous modes can be avoided in the
waveguide. To isolate the upper and lower halves of the
field pattern, thin metallic plates are inserted on both sides
of centre conductor. Now for mode conversion, it is The angle θ can be further optimized to improve the
required that fields in upper and lower sectoral waveguide performance of the mode converter. Angle θ will be
(SWG) sections propagate with different propagation different for the dielectric materials, if the dielectric
constants. For this, the lower SWG section is constants of two materials differ significantly. Centre
homogeneously filled or loaded with dielectric material. conductor is tapered after half of its length to get the
Metallic plates and dielectric material also work as coaxial TE11 mode converted to Circular waveguide TE11
mechanical support for centre conductor. Since the upper mode as shown in Figure 1 and 2. In this way the proposed
and lower SWGs are completely filled with air and structure produces TE11 like mode as final output.
dielectric respectively, the modes will be pure SWG modes The length of dielectric, which produces 1800 phase shift
(not hybrid) in both sections. with respect to air in the propagating electric field, can be
The length of the dielectric material should be such that calculated analytically. Let the propagation constant in air
1800 phase difference can be introduced in lower section and dielectric are L0 and Ld respectively then and dielectric
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Vol. 22, No. 4; August 2015 2059

are β0 and βd respectively, and travelled length by frequency of 3.2 GHz. Metal plate thickness (t) and
propagating fields inside the waveguide in air inclination angle (θ) is taken as 0.2cm and 100 respectively.
Centre conductor profile is linearly tapered from diameter
d Ld  0 L0   (4) of 3 cm to 0.9cm and extended 3 cm out of the dielectric to
convert coaxial TE11 mode to circular waveguide TE11
mode. Tapering of centre conductor also improves the
For Ld = L0 = L
mode conversion efficiency. Length L for each dielectric
material is calculated using equation (7) at operating
( d  0 ) L   (5) frequency of f0 = 3.2 GHz. Plot in Figure 3 shows the TM01
 to TE11 mode conversion efficiency for four dielectric
L (6)
( d  0 )

Odd multiple of the length (3L, 5L etc.) can also provide


1800 phase shift with respect to air. But to keep the
structure compact and dielectric losses minimum, length L
of dielectric must be used. In equation (6), replacing the
values of β0 and βd, we can write the expression for length
of dielectric at the operating frequency f0 as

0
L (7)
2 (  r  1)
Figure 3. Mode conversion efficiency with different dielectric materials.
This is the final expression for the length of the
dielectric. Length of metal plates is also taken equal to Table 1. Comparison of mode conversion bandwidth for different
length of dielectric. From the expression it is evident that dielectric materials at 3.2 GHz frequency.
higher will be the dielectric constant of material, L will be
Dielectric Length L Bandwidth Maximum
smaller and finally the mode converter will be more
material (cm) (MHz) efficiency
compact. This analysis is performed with different
Mica 3.2 535 93.8%
dielectric materials and results are presented in next
Bakelite 3.9 415 92.7%
section.
Quartz 5.0 595 93.3%
3 RESULTS PTFE 10.4 650 99.5%
Plexiglass 5.2 235 92.5%
3.1 ANALYSIS WITH RESPECT TO DIFFERENT Nylon 5.4 490 99.1%
DIELECTRIC MATERIALS
Selection of appropriate dielectric material for HPM materials. More results are summarized in Table 1 also. It is
application depends on its properties like dielectric observed that PTFE exhibits wider bandwidth and highest
strength, thermal strength, chemical inertness, tensile mode conversion efficiency over the operating frequency,
strength etc. In HPM systems and vacuum electronics among the analyzed dielectric materials. Quartz and Mica
devices dielectric materials such as Mica, Nylon, Bakelite, has higher dielectric strength than PTFE and can handle
Alumina, Teflon®/PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and higher microwave power levels, but bandwidth and
Quartz etc., are extensively used for insulation, capacitance, maximum mode conversion efficiency is comparatively
dielectric window design etc. In mode converter design lower with these materials. PTFE is easy to be machined in
high conversion efficiency (calculated as |S21|2) [24], desired shape, highly inert to chemicals and it can
bandwidth and dielectric strength are important parameters withstand the high vacuum levels. Therefore PTFE is a
for selection of dielectric material for loading. An analysis suitable choice for use in HPM systems where high
has been performed with some of the dielectric materials electromagnetic fields and high vacuum exists. In next
for application in mode conversion. From equation (7) it is subsections, all the analysis is performed with PTFE as
evident that calculated length L will be smaller for a dielectric loading in mode converter.
material with higher dielectric constant, therefore
compactness can be achieved. Simulations are performed 3.2 ANALYSIS WITH RESPECT TO LENGTH AND
for the proposed mode converter in CST Microwave INCLINATION ANGLE OF LODED DIELECTRIC
Studio®, with dimensions as shown in Figure 2. MATERIAL (PTFE)
The diameter of the circular waveguide is taken as 9cm so An analysis of the proposed mode converter with respect
that cutoff frequencies of TE11 and TM01 modes are 1.95 to length of dielectric material is performed to verify the
GHz and 2.55 GHz respectively. In this case only these two theory and simulation results at operating frequency of f0 =
modes can propagate in the mode converter at operating 3.2 GHz. Length l at this frequency for PTFE as dielectric
2060 A. Chittora et al.: Dielectric Loaded TM01 to TE11 Mode Converter for S-band Applications

material is calculated as L = 10.4cm from equation (7). A comparison of longitudinal and diametrical
Simulations are performed by varying the length l of loaded dimensions of the proposed mode converter design, with
PTFE from l = 0.5L to l = 1.5L. A plot is shown in Figure 4 the previous reported work, is presented in Table 2. The
for mode conversion efficiency with respect to frequency. table demonstrates that the proposed structure has small
From Figure 4, it is evident that maximum mode longitudinal and diametrical dimensions with wide
conversion efficiency and bandwidth are obtained for the bandwidth. Therefore it is suitable for wideband HPM
length l = L of dielectric, which is equal to the calculated applications, where compactness is also highly
length from equation (7) for PTFE as dielectric. This important.
proves good agreement between theory and simulations. In simulations, electric field generated in mode
converter is also calculated for high power input signal, to
verify the power handling capability. The maximum
electric field strength is 114kV/cm on metal surface and
30kV/cm on dielectric (PTFE) surface for 50MW input
power. Power handling capability can be increased by
using appropriate medium (like vacuum or SF6) and
pressure level in the waveguide. The electric field is also
calculated inside the mode converter with SF6 medium
instead of air. With SF6 the mode converter suitable to
handle high power microwave signal upto 200 MW input
microwave power in TM01 mode. The maximum electric
field generated in this case is 231kV/cm at the end of the
centre conductor and 100kV/cm on PTFE surface. These
Figure 4. Mode conversion efficiency for different values of length l of
loaded dielectric material (PTFE). field values are within the breakdown limit [25-27],
therefore there will be no breakdown or surface flashover
in the mode converter. Possibility of breakdown can also
Inclination angle θ for dielectric material and metal be avoided by using highly finished metal (and dielectric)
plates can be calculated and optimized. For PTFE as surface and eliminating the air gaps between metal and
dielectric with optimized length L = 10.4cm in the mode dielectric.
converter, a parametric analysis to find angle θ, is
performed to maximize mode conversion efficiency and 3.3 DIELECTRIC LOSSES
bandwidth at design frequency as shown in Figure 5. Dielectric loading in a waveguide leads to transmission
losses. The dielectric losses in a waveguide depend on the
frequency of operation, filling factor, dielectric constant
and loss tangent of dielectric, type and geometry of
dielectric material. Insertion of dielectric material in
waveguide results in reduced size, increased bandwidth
and increased power handling capability. The dielectric
losses must also be taken care of while selecting the
dielectric material for loading. In [28], a detailed analysis
on losses in dielectric loaded circular waveguide is
reported. The attenuation factor α is given by the
following equation
1/ 2
  
1/ 2
   2
2
2   0  
2
2
      " " '  '      " " '  '  ( "  '" ' )  
0
Figure 5. Mode conversion efficiency for different values of inclination 0   c  
angle (θ) of loaded dielectric material (PTFE) and metal plates.    c    
 
(8)
Table 2. Comparison of linear structure mode converters.
where dielectric constant εr=ε’-jε”, relative permeability
Paper Length Diameter Bandwidth μr=μ’-jμ”, λ0=wavelength of operation and λc=cutoff
(L/λ) (D/λ) wavelength of input mode. The loss tangent decreases
Eisenhart [9] 2.75 1.33 30% much sharply as the frequency of operation is reduced and
Yuan et al [10] 2.53 1.14 10% in our case the frequency of operation is much lower. The
Yuan et al [11] 4.67 1.73 12.5% loss tangent tanδ=0.0002 for PTFE in the frequency range
Yuan et al [12] 2.05 0.51 Narrowband of operation. The loss tangent of other materials is
Yuan et al [13] 2.95 1.06 11.7% relatively higher, e.g. 0.0027 for Nylon and 0.0004 for
Wang et al [15] 1.20 1.16 4.1% quartz, which leads to high attenuation factor. From
Peng et al [16] - 1.01 18.6% equation (8) the attenuation factor due to dielectric loading
This paper 1.43 0.96 20.3% can be calculated for the proposed mode converter with
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Vol. 22, No. 4; August 2015 2061

PTFE loading. It is below 0.01dB/cm, since the mode


converter is loaded only in lower half section with
dielectric and the total length of the dielectric (L=10.4 cm)
is also small. Therefore it can be inferred that the losses in
the proposed mode converter will be negligible if PTFE is
used as dielectric loading.

3.3 EXPERIMENTAL SETUP AND RESULTS


The metal parts of the mode converter are fabricated with
Aluminium (due to light weight and low cost). PTFE is
used as dielectric for loading due to the advantages Figure 9. Setup for the reflection coefficient measurement at the input port
mentioned in the previous subsections. The fabricated mode for TM01 mode excitation.
converter before and after assembly, is shown in Figure 7.
Low power experiments are performed to verify the TM01 means of far-field radiation measurements. This is widely
to TE11 mode conversion. Since it is very difficult to used method to verify the output modes of the mode
experimentally measure the output modes and their energy converter [2], [11-15]. Therefore this method is employed
proportion accurately in overmoded waveguides, the output to first measure the radiation pattern by exciting the TM01
modes of the mode converter are measured by mode at the input port of a hollow circular waveguide
without mode converter and then with the mode converter.
To excite the TM01 mode at the input port, a monopole
can be applied [29] on the axis of hollow circular
waveguide. But this feed does not provide wide bandwidth
for TM01 mode excitation. Since the mode converter
bandwidth is 2.95-3.60GHz as shown in Figure 6, TM01
mode must be excited at least for this frequency range. A
modified conical monopole feed [30-31] is designed, and
reflection coefficient measurement is performed as shown
in Figure 8 and Figure 9 respectively. The TM01 mode
excitation is achieved for 2.8-4 GHz frequency range as
shown in Figure 10. The Radiated power from hollow
Figure 6. Mode power conversion efficiency of the proposed mode circular waveguide with conical horn antenna is measured
converter with TM01 mode input. at farfield distance and plotted to get the radiation pattern at
3GHz, 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz input signal. In this case we

Figure 10. S-parameters for the TM01 mode excited at the input port of the
hollow circular waveguide using coaxial feed

get minima at the boresight, as shown in Figure 11, which


Figure 7. Fabricated mode converter before and after assembly
is the typical doughnut-shaped radiation pattern of TM01
mode. Sidelobes are due to excitation of undesired higher
order modes. The experiment is repeated with the proposed
mode converter with a conical horn (as transmitting)
antenna. TM01 mode is excited at the input port of the mode
converter, and radiation pattern is measured and plotted at
3, 3.2 and 3.4 GHz input signal. Maxima is obtained on the
boresight as shown in Figure 11, which shows the presence
Figure 8. A modified conical monopole feed for TM01 mode excitation of TE11 mode. In this case most of the power is radiated
2062 A. Chittora et al.: Dielectric Loaded TM01 to TE11 Mode Converter for S-band Applications

along the propagation axis. It is verified from the radiation 4 CONCLUSION


patterns that the proposed mode converter converts TM01 to A TM01 to TE11 mode converter is investigated based on
TE11 mode efficiently for the frequencies within calculated phase shift by dielectric loading and centre conductor for HPM
bandwidth. S11 parameter is also measured at input port of sources with relatively lower output power (upto 200MW). The
the mode converter and compared with the simulation result proposed design has advantage of linear structure and
as shown in Figure 12. Measured reflection is better than - compactness. Therefore it is easy to fabricate and install. From
10dB within mode converter bandwidth. The measured the analysis with different materials, PTFE is found to be
result is in good agreement with the simulated result. suitable material in terms of performance measures of mode
converter. High mode conversion efficiency (>90%) for wide
bandwidth (20.3%) makes it useful for S-band HPM launching
systems. The dielectric losses in the waveguide are negligible
with PTFE. The proposed design is also fabricated with PTFE
as dielectric loading and mode conversion is verified through
farfield radiation measurements. Dielectric materials with higher
dielectric constant can also be used and they result in more
compact design, but performance may be different in terms of
bandwidth, conversion efficiency and power handling
capability.
(a)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The project was financially supported by the Board of
research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), ISRO, DST and Tata
Center for Technology and Design.

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SAND2010-0268 JAN 2010. Mesra, India, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from
[28] P.J.B. Clarricoats, "Propagation along unbounded and bounded dielectric The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.
rods," Proc. IEE - Part C: Monographs, Vol. 108, No. 13, pp. 170-176, He is currently working as an Associate Professor
1961. in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian
[29] R. H. MacPhie, M. Opie, and C. R. Ries, "Input impedance of a coaxial line Institute of Technology, Bombay. Previously, he
probe feeding a circular waveguide in the TM01 mode," IEEE Trans. was a Texas Instruments Fellow during his Ph.D.
Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp.334-337, 1990. studies from 2001 to 2004. He has interned at Thomson Multimedia,
[30] S.S. Sandler and R. W. P. King, "Compact conical antennas for wide-band Princeton, NJ, USA, during 2002–2003. His research interests include
coverage," IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp.436- antennas, RFIC design and bio-medical VLSI circuits. He has authored and
439, 1994. coauthored more than 50 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and
[31] J. L. McDonald and D. S. Filipovic, "On the Bandwidth of Monocone conferences. He is also the author of three books on RF oscillators and
Antennas," IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 56, no. 4, pp.1196- antennas. Dr. Mukherjee was awarded the gold medal on the basis of the
1201, 2008. order of merit from the Birla Institute of Technology.