The results of a study of the generation of a gigawatt-level pulsed ion beam formed by a diode with an explosive-emission potential electrode in self-magnetic insulation mode are presented. The experiments have been performed on the TEMP-4M ion accelerator operating in double-pulse formation mode: the first pulse is negative polarity (300–500 ns, 100–150 kV) and the second is positive (150 ns, 250–300 kV). The ion current density is 20–40 A/cm2; the beam consists of protons and carbon ions. To increase the efficiency of the ion current generation, a circular geometry diode is proposed. It is shown that with the new design, the plasma is effectively formed over the entire working surface of the graphite potential electrode. During ion beam generation, magnetic insulation of the electrons is achieved over the entire length of the diode (B/Bcr ≥ 3). Because of the high drift velocity, the transit time of electrons in the anode-cathode gap is 3–5 ns, whilst the transit time of C+ carbon ions exceeds 8 ns. This indicates low efficiency self-magnetic insulation for this geometry of diode. At the same time, it has been observed experimentally that during ion current generation (the second pulse), the electron component of the total current is suppressed by a factor of 4–5. A new mechanism of limiting the electron emission, which explains the decrease in the electron component of the total current in the circular diode with self-magnetic insulation, is proposed.