High Current, High Energy Beam Focusing Element



Invention Summary

The invention relates to the field of capturing, controlling, managing, transporting and emitting large currents while minimizing stray current loss. It is useful in devices generating a large number of charge. The charges of interest are electrons. Transporting these charges from one environment to another is typically difficult to impossible with practical external magnetic or electric lenses due to the large space charge effects. Solid uncoated material combinations as well as material coatings or material laminates were sought to capture, secure, and transfer charge from a large electron production source such as the non-equilibrium plasma pinch (NEPP) to the insides of the magnetron without unsealing the magnetron, with minimal emission losses, and with minimal dielectric charging. The emission location can be controlled using geometry, field configuration, and material properties.


Market Opportunity

For years, others have directed effort toward solving the problem of creating cathodes which can be mass manufactured to tight tolerances, allowing them to perform with accuracy and precision. Another object of prior inventions was that they made use of emission materials having a relatively low effective work function so as to minimize extraction field strength. Even though many of these employ low effective work-function materials to advantage, sharp-tipped cathodes have fundamental problems when employed in a flat panel graphic display environment. First, they are relatively expensive to manufacture. Second, they are hard to manufacture with great consistency—that is, electron emission from sharp-tipped cathodes occurs at the tip. The manufacturing of cathodes must be made more reliable so as to minimize the problem of inconsistencies in brightness in the display along its surface. The invention goes beyond electromagnetic generation applications. It is possible to capture electrons from any electron generating source such as an electron accelerator using the invention and transport these electrons from a vacuum environment to an air environment by way of a rod and needle for field emission processes. Applications may extend to medical, environmental, and biological fields where electrons or high currents are desired.


Features & Benefits

•Containing, maintaining, and managing the flow of charge in a material body allows for the charge to be brought closer to electromagnetic generating slow wave structures. The coupling between the slow wave structure and the beam is enhanced as the distance of separation between the structures is decreased. Further, because the beam is mainly contained in the metal medium due to work function properties, there is a smaller probability that spurious charge will result from material out-gassing or desorption from interfering with the current flow. Emission from a needle tip is not required. Instead, the rod is bent and attached to ground allowing for a path of least resistance for the collected burst of charge. The current in the rod removes the need for bending and focusing magnets.


•One significant operational consideration that assists in the performance of the technology is a large differential work function. Simulations have shown very good results when the materials have a larger differential work function (about a difference of at least 8 or 9, preferably at least 9 and more preferably at least 10). If the state of the art changes and new materials are developed, then a better more versatile device can be built of differing materials, but having the same functional characteristics. In this case, the constraints on the source may be relaxed.


Intellectual Property        Published Patent: US-2012-0280609-A1


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Zachary Miles
Associate Vice President for Economic Development
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Robert Schill
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