A Modular Multilevel Generic Pulse-Waveform Generator for Pulsed Electric Field Applications

Mohamed A. Elgenedy*, Ahmed Darwish, Shehab Ahmed, Barry W. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


High-voltage (HV) pulses are used in pulsed electric field (PEF) applications to provide an effective electroporation process, a process in which harmful microorganisms are disinfected when subjected to a PEF. Depending on the PEF application, different HV pulse specifications are required such as the pulse-waveform shape, the voltage magnitude, the pulse duration, and the pulse repetition rate. In this paper, a generic pulse-waveform generator (GPG) is proposed, and the GPG topology is based on half-bridge modular multilevel converter (HB-MMC) cells. The GPG topology is formed of four identical arms of series-connected HB-MMC cells forming an H-bridge. Unlike the conventional HB-MMC-based converters in HVdc transmission, the GPG load power flow is not continuous which leads to smaller size cell capacitors utilization; hence, smaller footprint of the GPG is achieved. The GPG topology flexibility allows the controller software to generate a basic multilevel waveform which can be manipulated to generate the commonly used PEF pulse waveforms. Therefore, the proposed topology offers modularity, redundancy, and scalability. The viability of the proposed GPG converter is validated by MATLAB/Simulink simulation and experimentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7987704
Pages (from-to)2527-2535
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial decontamination
  • H-bridge
  • electroporation
  • modular multilevel converters (MMC)
  • pulse-waveform generator
  • pulsed electric field (PEF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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