Document Type

Honors Thesis


Marx generators are pulsed power generators useful for applications such as particle accelerators, agricultural food treatment, medical research and treatments, flashed x-rays, laser welding and ablation, and high-power microwaves. This type of generator is often high voltage, and provides short (nanosecond – microsecond long) pulses of power. Many well-documented designs utilize spark gap switches, but recent advancements in solid-state power electronics components like IGBTs make high-power transistor switching possible. Although limited to low voltage (<10kV) by the current transistor technology, there are clear benefits to this design, namely precise switching timing, allowing for pulse shaping, and RLC ringing reduction. The aim of this Senior engineering project was to build a five-stage solid-state Marx generator that could generate a 100us, 50V, 2500W output pulse. The design discussed in this work details implementation of IGBTs and isolated gate drivers to achieve this goal. The design has been demonstrated to generate the specified pulse with experimentally acceptable losses. In addition, a microcontroller was utilized to control pulse timing to achieve not only the project specifications but to attempt output pulse shaping and display information to a user.

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