What is a high-voltage power supply?

A high-voltage power supply is a voltage conversion circuit that boosts a low input voltage to a higher voltage for output. There are many definitions of high voltage. At Matsusada Precision, we classify power supplies that output 1000 V or more as high-voltage power supplies. In general, a high-voltage power supply refers to a power supply that outputs a DC high voltage.

Where are high-voltage power supplies used?

In research and development, higher voltages are needed to operate equipment under different conditions and create a special environment for testing. In particular, mass spectrometry, electron microscopes, X-ray inspection equipment, optical communications, and space science experiments require strong electric fields to control and detect electrons in the equipment. High voltage is essential to generate a strong electric field. If high voltage is required in this way, use a high-voltage power supply.

High voltage generation method

The method most often used for generating high voltages is the Cockcroft-Walton circuit. It consists of a multi-stage combination of capacitors and diodes, as shown in the following circuit diagram. Increasing the number of stages in the Cockcroft-Walton circuit increases the voltage to the desired level.

Cockcroft-Walton circuit
Construction of a Cockcroft-Walton circuit

The Cockcroft Walton circuit is also called a CW circuit, Cockcroft Walton generator, or Cockcroft Walton multiplier.

Type of high-voltage power supply

Various types of high-voltage power supplies exist. Each of the following items can be classified into different types.

Installation method: PCB mount, chassis mount, benchtop, rack mount

High-voltage power supplies can be classified into printed circuit board (PCB)-mounted, chassis-mounted (module), bench-top, and rack-mounted types, depending on the shape of the power supply.

Output type: positive polarity output, negative polarity output, positive/negative switchable output, bipolar output, pulse output

The high voltage output can be classified into positive polarity output type, negative polarity output type, positive/negative polarity switching type, bipolar output type, and pulse output type. In many high-voltage applications, the polarity of the output is meaningful, so care must be taken to avoid polarity errors.

Input power: AC input (AC-HVDC), DC input (DC-HVDC)

High-voltage power supplies can be classified into AC input type and DC input type according to the input power of the high-voltage power supply.The AC input type is a high-voltage power supply that can output higher voltage or high power output. Most benchtop and rackmount models are AC input types. Most high-voltage power supply modules are DC input type low-voltage DC to high-voltage DC converters (DC-HVDC).

Control method: Proportional, analog control, digital control

The following three types can be classified by the method of controlling the output voltage. The proportional type controls the output voltage according to the voltage of the input DC power supply. Outputs a high voltage proportional to the input voltage. Analog control is controlled by inputting the set voltage according to the output voltage to the analog control terminal. For models with a reference voltage pin, the output voltage can also be controlled by a variable resistor. Digital control controls output via digital signals such as LAN, USB, RS-232C, or RS-485. Digital control provides remote and safe control. In addition, long-distance control and isolated control can be achieved with optical fiber.

Matsusada Precision's high-voltage power supplies

Matsusada Precision is the world's leading manufacturer of high voltage power supplies. Matsusada Precision's power supply equipment is highly reliable due to its production in Japan. With many years of experience, we have realized a low noise, high stability, and high-performance power supply and also respond to short delivery times. As power supply specialists, we design, manufacture, sell and provide power supply solutions that solve your problems. In addition to standard products, we also supply custom power supplies to meet customer requirements and application-specific high-voltage power supplies. If you cannot find a power supply with the specifications you are looking for, do not hesitate to inquire.

PCB mount (on-board) type high-voltage power supply: Link to our products line

Printed circuit board (PCB) mounting type high-voltage power supply modules are input and output pins through-hole mounting electro components. This on-board module converts low voltage DC to high voltage DC (DC to HVDC) and does not come with an indicator or controller. This high-voltage power supply requires a DC power supply such as 5 V or 12 V for input and a control circuit for output voltage control. When designing a Printed circuit board, ensure that there is sufficient creepage distance between the high voltage output and ground or other wires. Careful design should be taken to prevent creepage discharge and migration. There are products with a resin body and products with a metal body. The metal module is electromagnetically shielded and has excellent heat dissipation.
The supply range of our on-board high voltage power supply is from 50V to 10kV voltage and 0.1W to 30W power.

Chassis-mount high-voltage power supply modules: Link to our products line

hassis-mount type high-voltage power supply modules are high-voltage power supplies with no indicator or control circuitry, ideal for embedded applications in customer equipment. Most high-voltage power supply modules output via a high-voltage cable coming directly from the module.
The supply range of our chassis-mount high-voltage power supplies is from 0.3kvV to 50kV voltage and 1W to 1.2kW power.

Benchtop High Voltage Power Supplies: Link to our products line

Bench-top high-voltage power supplies are compact, high-voltage power supplies that can be used immediately by simply connecting them to a commercial AC power source. The indicator and voltage adjustment volume make it easy to set the output voltage. In addition, the high-voltage output uses a high-voltage connector for easy and safe connection to the load.
Our bench-top high voltage power supplies range from 1kV to 30kV voltage and 3W to 200W power.

Rackmount High Voltage Power Supplies: Link to our products line

Rack-mount high-voltage power supplies are power supplies that are housed in a 19-inch wide rack cabinet. This category includes ultra-high voltage and high power high voltage power supplies. It is ideal for building Automatic test equipment or automated test equipment (ATE)s and manufacturing process equipment in combination with other measuring instruments. Models are available that allow digital control from LAN or other means as well as an analog remote control.
The supply range of our rack-mount high voltage power supplies is from 1kV to 200kV voltage and 30W to 13000W power.

Bipolar output type high-voltage amplifiers: Link to our products line

Bipolar output type high voltage power supplies are called high voltage amplifiers. The high-voltage amplifier outputs a high voltage that amplifies the waveform of the input signal to a high magnification. High-voltage amplifiers are also high-speed, high-voltage amplifiers with fast slew rates because they require outputs with large amplitude. For more information on high-voltage amplifiers, see Application: "High-Voltage Amplifiers".
Our high voltage amplifiers supply ranges from 0.3kV to 40kV voltage and 3W to 1200W power with slew rates up to 1200V/us.

Pulse Output Type High Voltage Power Supply: Link to our products line

High-voltage pulse power supplies are power supplies that can output high-voltage pulses at high speed.
Our high-voltage pulse power supply range is up to 10 kV in voltage.

Dedicated type high voltage power supply

Dedicated-type high-voltage power supplies are power supplies with application- and device-specific features and output ranges. Matsusada Precision introduces high voltage power supplies for electrostatic chucks, X-ray tubes, piezo element drives, PMTs, mass spectrometers, electron beams, and xenon lamps.

High-voltage power supply for X-ray tubes: Link to our products line

The high-voltage power supply for X-ray tubes combines a high-voltage power supply for accelerating electrons and a low-voltage power supply for the filament. There are two types of high-voltage power supplies for X-ray tubes: anode-grounded and cathode-grounded. There is also a bipolar connection, in which the high-voltage power supply is connected to both poles. For more information on types of X-ray tubes and high-voltage power supplies, please refer to "Types of X-ray tubes and high-voltage power supplies" in the Technical Tips.
We also offer an X-ray generator module that includes an X-ray tube and a high-voltage power supply.
The supply range of our high voltage power supplies for X-ray tubes is from 30kV to 160kV voltage and 50W to 4000W power.

High-voltage power supply for driving piezoelectric elements: Link to our products line

High-voltage power supplies for driving piezoelectric elements are called piezoelectric drivers. Used to drive piezo actuators or piezo precision stages.
For more information on piezo drivers, see "About Piezo Drivers" in the Tech tips.

High-voltage power supplies for photomultiplier tubes: Link to application notes

High voltage power supplies for photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are power supplies for PMTs used in detectors of analyzers, radiation measuring instruments, and medical equipment to detect weak light. Socketed and modular power supplies dedicated to PMT are available. To use a photomultiplier tube, in addition to a high-voltage power supply, a divider circuit corresponding to the number of dynode stages and a detection circuit to read out the signal are required.
For more information on photomultiplier tubes, see Application: "Photomultiplier Tubes: PMT".

High voltage power supply for mass spectrometry: Link to application notes

High voltage power supplies for mass spectrometrys are low noise, highly stable, high-performance special power supplies that do not affect the accuracy of the analysis. There are various types of mass spectrometers. Among them, TOF-MASS requires multiple high-performance, high-voltage power supplies.
For more information on mass spectrometers, see Applications: "Mass Spectrometry".

High-voltage power supplies for electron beam applications: Link to application notes

The high-voltage power supply for electron beams in electron microscopes combines a high-voltage power supply for acceleration, a power supply for filaments, and a power supply for electrodes such as wenelts, suppressors, and extractors. In addition to high-voltage power supplies, electron microscopes use DC power supplies for lenses, bipolar power supplies for scanning and axis correction, and PMT power supplies for detectors.
For more information on electron microscopy, see Applications: "Electron Microscope" and tech tips.

High voltage power supply for ion beam: Link to application notes

he high-voltage power supplies for ion beams here are introduced for ion sources used in FIBs and other applications. For ion implantation, analyzers using ions and medical equipment, multiple DC power supplies as well as high-voltage power supplies for ion beams are used.
For more information on Ion beam, see Applications: "Ion Beam" and tech tips.

High-voltage power supply for xenon lamps: Link to our products line

The high-voltage power supply for xenon lamps is a dedicated high-voltage power supply for xenon flash lamps that combines the main high-voltage output with an output for triggering.

Safe use of high-voltage power supply

CAUTION: High-voltage power supplies generate high voltages and can be harmful to the human body if used improperly. Refer to "Safety and Usage of High Voltage Power Supplies" for proper use.