Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Crossed Field Device

Technology #3189

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Ronald M. Gilgenbach
Managed By
Keith Hughes
Assistant Director, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-9429
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending


Although crossed field devices, such as magnetrons and crossed field amplifiers, have been used in a variety of different applications ranging from microwave ovens to military radar equipment, certain technical challenges still exist. For example, some crossed field devices are unable to produce high frequency electromagnetic (EM) emissions at elevated power levels. Generally, very small cathode and/ or anode structures and features are needed in order to generate missions having such small wavelengths. Such structures and features often cannot withstand the electrical current and resulting heat that is required to generate the power levels needed.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new type of magnetron that can generate significant radiation power at frequencies from GHz through THz. Unlike the conventional, cylindrical magnetrons, the magnetron design described herein allows for large cathode and anode structures to avoid high electric field enhancement/ breakdown and effectively dissipate heat to provide a compact THz radiation source.

Applications and Advantages


  • THz sources for various applications including homeland defense, biology, materials science, and medical diagnostics


  • Inexpensive and easy to fabricate
  • Unique design enables reduced arcing and-nl-breakdown
  • Reduced cathode loading owing to large area-nl-available for electron emission