USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

High Current Density Carbon Nanotube Cold Cathode for TWT Applications

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Applied Nanotech, Inc.
3006 Longhorn Blvd. Ste. 107 Austin, TX -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: High Current Density Carbon Nanotube Cold Cathode for TWT Applications
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9451-06-C-0025
Award Amount: $749,000.00


Traveling wave tubes (TWTs) are key components for generating high frequencies and high power for communication, radar and electronic warfare. Almost all TWTs used to date in active service use thermal cathodes as the electron source needed to generate the high current density beam required for TWT operation. The heat generated by the cathode is difficult to dissipate in space and significantly lowers the efficiency of the TWT device. We propose to demonstrate the feasibility of a carbon nanotube-based electron gun for TWT applications by installing such an electron source in an existing TWT made commercially. A cold cathode approach will improve the efficiency of the TWT and may improve the operating life of the cathode. Payload weight may be lowered since high current, high voltage transformers will not be needed. In Phase I, we showed that high current densities in the range needed for TWT applications, can be obtained from carbon nanotube (CNT) cathodes in both pulsed and DC modes. In this Phase II effort, we will demonstrate the capabilities of CNT electron sources by installing them in existing TWTs made commercially by Northrop Grumman Corp., who will be teaming with ANI to achieve this demonstration.

Principal Investigator:

Richard Fink
VP, Engineering

Business Contact:

Jacque Soptick
Small Business Information at Submission:

3006 Longhorn Blvd. Suite 107 Austin, TX 78758

EIN/Tax ID: 742848504
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No