The defense community in Maryland is an R&D powerhouse.
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An electron injector including an electron source and a conducting grid situated close to the electron source, one or more RF accelerating/bunching cavities operating at the same fundamental RF frequency; a DC voltage source configured to bias the cathode at a small positive voltage with respect to the grid; a first RF drive configured to apply an RF signal between the cathode and grid at the fundamental and third harmonic RF frequencies; and a second RF drive configured to apply an RF drive signal to the accelerating/bunching cavities. Electrons are emitted by the cathode and travel through the grid to the accelerating/bunching cavities for input into an RF linac. The first RF drive applies a first RF drive signal at the fundamental frequency of the linac plus higher harmonics thereof to the gap between the cathode and the grid to cause the emitted electrons to form electron bunches and the second RF drive applies a second RF drive signal to the accelerating/bunching cavities on the other side of the grid to further accelerate and optimize the size of the electron bunches. Because the applied RF signals contain at the fundamental linac frequency, the electrons are bunched at that frequency and each RF bucket of the linac is filled with an electron bunch.