Indexed on: 01 Oct '06Published on: 01 Oct '06Published in: Radiophysics and Quantum Electronics
We numerically simulate the influence of positive ions on characteristics of the microwave oscillations in a nonrelativistic electron beam with the virtual cathode formed in a decelerating field (low-voltage vircator). A numerical scheme allowing for ionization of a residual gas by an electron flow is proposed. It is shown that the residual-gas ionization in the operating chamber of a low-voltage vircator leads to a forcing of the virtual cathode out of the transit gap and to a cutoff of microwave oscillations. The obtained numerical data are confirmed by an experimental study using a low-voltage vircator model.