Review of the high-power vacuum tube microwave sources: https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.04288
Since the first vacuum tube (X-ray tube) was invented by Wilhelm Rontgen in Germany, after more than one hundred years of development, the average power density of the vacuum tube microwave source has reached the order of 108 [MW][GHz]2. The maximum power density record was created by the Free Electron Lasers. In the high-power microwave field, the vacuum devices are still the mainstream microwave sources for applications such as scientific instruments, communications, radars, magnetic confinement fusion heating, microwave weapons, etc. The principles of microwave generation by vacuum tube microwave sources include Cherenkov or Smith-Purcell radiation, transition radiation, and Bremsstrahlung. In this paper, the vacuum tube microwave sources were reviewed in order according to the three radiation principles. Among them, the Vircators can produce 22 GW output power in P-band. Vacuum tubes that can achieve continuous-wave operation include Traveling Wave Tubes, Klystrons, Free Electron Lasers, and Magnetrons, with output power up to 1MW. Vacuum tubes that can generate frequencies of the order of 100 GHz and above include Klystrons, Traveling Wave Tubes, Gyrotrons, Backward Wave Oscillators, Magnetrons, Surface Wave Oscillators, Free Electron Lasers, Orotrons, etc. Gyrotrons are very attractive in the millimeter wave and THz fields. The Gyrotrons can output power at the MW level with 3000s pulse width at millimeter wavelengths.