Full-bridge modular multilevel submodule-based high-voltage bipolar pulse generator with low-voltage DC, input for pulsed electric field applications

Ibrahim Abdelsalam, Mohamed A. Elgenedy*, Shehab Ahmed, Barry W. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


High-voltage (HV) pulse generators (PGs) are the core of pulsed electric field applications. Applying HV pulses produces electrical pores in a biological cell membrane, in which if the size of the pores increases beyond a critical size, the cell will not survive. This paper proposes a new HV-PG based on the modular multilevel converter with full-bridge submodules (FB-SMs). In order to alleviate the need of complicated sensorless or sensorbased voltage balancing techniques for the FB-SM capacitors, a dedicated self-regulating charging circuit is connected across each FB-SM capacitor. The individual capacitor charging voltage level is obtained from three successive stages, namely, convert the low-voltage dc input voltage to a high-frequency square ac voltage, increase the ac voltage level via a nanocrystalline step-up transformer, and rectify the secondary transformer ac voltage via a diode FB rectifier. The HV bipolar pulses are formed across the load in a fourth stage through series connected FB-SMs. The flexibility of inserting and bypassing the FBSM capacitors allows the proposed topology to generate different pulse-waveform shapes, including rectangular waveforms with specifically reduced dv/dt and ramp pulses. The practical results, from a scaled-down experimental rig with five FB-SMs and a 1-kV peak-to-peak pulse output, validate the proposed topology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8024172
Pages (from-to)2857-2864
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 26, 2016; revised June 16, 2017 and August 1, 2017; accepted August 10, 2017. Date of publication September 1, 2017; date of current version October 9, 2017. This work was supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of the Qatar Foundation) under Grant NPRP 7-203-2-097. The review of this paper was arranged by Senior Editor W. Jiang. (Corresponding author: Mohamed A. Elgenedy.) I. Abdelsalam is with the Electrical and Control Department, College of Engineering & Technology , Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Cairo 15115, Egypt (e-mail: I.abdelsalam@aast.edu) M. A. Elgenedy is with the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1RD, U.K., and also with the Electrical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21544, Egypt (e-mail: mohamed.elgenedy@strath.ac.uk).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE. Personal use is permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Full-bridge modular multilevel submodule-based high-voltage bipolar pulse generator with low-voltage DC, input for pulsed electric field applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this