Indexed on: 01 Jul '04Published on: 01 Jul '04Published in: Plasma Physics Reports
The characteristics of a high-current electron beam-driven microwave amplifier—a dielectric Cherenkov maser—are investigated in the framework of linear theory for the case of a plasma layer present at the surface of the maser slow-wave structure. The dispersion relation for axisymmetric perturbations is obtained for the conventional configuration (a circular dielectric-lined waveguide and a thin annular beam propagating within the vacuum region inside the annular plasma) in the model of a fully magnetized plasma and beam. The results of numerically solving the dispersion relation for different beam and plasma parameters are presented, and an analysis based on these results is given with regard to the features of the beam interaction with the hybrid waves of the system (both hybrid waveguide and hybrid plasma modes). For the hybrid waveguide mode, the dependences of the spatial growth rate on the frequency demonstrate an improvement in the gain at moderate plasma densities, along with narrowing the amplification band and shifting it toward higher frequencies. For the hybrid plasma mode, the interaction with a mildly relativistic (200–250 keV) beam, when the wave phase velocity is close to the speed of light in the dielectric medium, is most interesting and, therefore, has been studied in detail. It is shown that, depending on the beam and plasma parameters, different regimes of the hybrid plasma mode coupling to the hybrid waveguide mode or a usual, higher order plasma mode take place; in particular, a flat gain vs. frequency dependence is possible over a very broad band. The parameters at which the −3-dB bandwidth calculated for the 30-dB peak gain exceeds an octave are found.