Development Of Materials For High Emission Density Electron Emitters For Microwave Tube Applications
Microwave tubes are the choice of a wide range of high power and millimeter wave applications in radar, electronic warfare and communication systems. Advances in these devices are due to device innovation, improved modeling, and development of advanced materials. In a microwave tube, electron emitter is the source of electron beam and it is one of the vital components determining the life & performance of the device. High power, high frequency microwave tubes require electron emitters with high emission density. The present thesis aims at developing the materials for high emission density electron emitters. It is aimed to improve the emission density of thermionic cathodes for use in conventional microwave tubes and to develop cold emitters like ferroelectric cathodes for high power microwave devices. The work reported in the present thesis is a modest attempt of the author towards this aim. The thesis is organized in six chapters. Chapter 1 gives a brief introduction of thermionic and ferroelectric emitters. Different types of electron emission mechanisms and a brief background of thermionic and ferroelectricemitters are discussed in this chapter. The genesis of the problem taken up and its importance as well as the plan and scope of the work is also given in this chapter. In Chapter 2, the basic experimental techniques used in the present work are discussed. Preparation of mixed metal matrix and M- type dispenser cathodes and their characterization techniques has been discussed in this chapter. Subsequently, ferroelectric materials preparation and characterization for their material properties and electron emission has been discussed. A brief introduction to FEM software ANSYS, used for thermal analysis of dispenser cathodes and electrostatic field analysis of ferroelectric cathodes, has been given at the end of this chapter. Thermal analysis, development process, emission characterization, work function distribution, of W-Ir mixed metal matrix (MM type) cathodes and a simple innovative technique to estimate the barium evaporation rate from the emission data of the dispenser cathodes is presented in Chapter 3. Under normal microwave tube operating conditions, the cathode of the electron gun has to be heated up to 1050°C to obtain stable thermionic electron emission. Thermal analysis is a first step in the development process of cathodes, optimizing its structure for improved performance with respect to its operating power, warm-up time and efficiency. Thermal analysis of a dispenser cathode in electron gun environment using the FEM software ANSYS and its experimental validation are presented. Development of porous W-Ir mixed metal matrix material required for dispenser cathode applications has been discussed. Determination of pore size, pore density and pore uniformity has been carried out. The performance of the cathodes made with these pellets is at par with the results reported in the literature. The surface of mixed metal pellet is an inherently two-phase structure consisting of tungsten solid solution phase and W-Ir ε phase causing more spread in the spatial distribution of work function. W-Ir mixed metal matrix cathodes have been realized and their work function distribution has been determined form the measured I-V characteristics. Also in this chapter, a novel technique for estimation of barium evaporation rate for dispenser cathodes from their I-V characteristics is presented. Results of life test carried out on these cathodes are given at the end of the chapter. In Chapter 4, work carried out on enhancing the emission properties of mixed metal matrix cathodes by suitably modifying the impregnant mix is discussed. W-Ir MM type cathodes discussed in the previous chapter give a emission current density of ~ 7.5A/cm2 with a work function of 1.99 eV. Thesevalues are very close to that of B-type cathode. In this chapter, it is explored to suitably dope the 5BaO:3CaO:2Al2O3 impregnant mix to reduce the work function of W-Ir cathodes. Lithium and Scandium oxides have been added to the 5:3:2 imp regnant mix. Lithium oxide doped impregnated MM type cathodes have given more than 30 A/cm2 current density at 1050oC. For scandium oxide doped MM type cathodes current density has increased to 15 A/cm2 at the same temperature. In Chapter 5, Electron emission from the ferroelectric cathodes has been discussed. FEM simulation of Ferroelectric cathodes to study the electrical excitation effects on emission. Triple point electric field in FE Cathodes is very large and can lead to field emission from the metallic grid at triple points. FEM simulation has been carried out to find out the effect of grid thickness on triple junction electric field using ANSYS software. From FEM modeling it is also seen that if a dielectric layer of lower dielectric constant (εr≤10) is placed between the grid and the ferroelectric material the triple junction electric field increases three fold. Use of dielectric layer can also reduce the secondary electron coefficient (δ) and surface plasma generation. Lanthanum doped PZT has been chosen for the study and these materials have been tested in diode configuration for emission characterization in demountable vacuum systems. Repeatable electron emission has been achieved for all the three compositions of PLZT (x/65/35) material (x = 7, 8, 9). However, it has been observed that when the ferroelectric is subjected to repetitive unipolar electrical excitation, fatigue is set in and cathode material is cracking. To study the effect of domain switching on the residual stress in the ferroelectric material, XRD studies have been carried out. Shift in XRD peaks for fresh and emission tested samples has been used to calculate the residual stress developed in the samples. Details of High current switch realized using ferroelectric cathodes have been discussed. Chapter 6 gives the Summary of the work done and suggestions for further research on W-Ir mixed metal matrix cathodes and ferroelectric cathodes.
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