Cockroft Walton Voltage Multipliers. The classic multistage diode/capacitor voltage multipler, popularized by Cockroft and Walton, is probably the most popular. Abstract—This paper primarily describes a Cockcroft Walton voltage multiplier circuit. The objective of the project is to design a voltage multiplier which should. For now I’ll thoroughly explain principle part and its assumptions. First assume that voltage doubler and cw multlipier is not loaded. Voltage doubler circuit: Let at .

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The biggest advantage of such circuits is that the voltage across each stage of the cascade is equal to only twice the peak input voltage in a half-wave rectifier.

Cockroft Walton Voltage Multipliers

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cockcroft-Walton generators. As you can see from this equation, the ripple grows quite rapidly as the number of stages increases as n squared, in fact.

Retrieved from coltage https: This page was last edited on 18 Decemberat Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Note the three human figures at top center for scale. With each change in input polarity, current flows up the “stack” of capacitors through the diodes, until they are all charged.

It also inherently produces a series of stepped voltages which is useful in some forms of particle accelerators, and for biasing photomultipler tube dynodes.

The high ripple means that there is a signficant energy spread in the ion beam, though, and for applications where low ripple is important at megavolt potentials, electrostatic systems like Van de Graaf and Pelletron machines are preferred. All the capacitors are charged to a voltage of 2 V pexcept for C1which is charged to V p. By driving the CW from a high-frequency source, such as an inverteror a combination of an inverter and HV transformer, the overall physical size and weight of the CW power supply can be substantially reduced.


The output voltage Eout is nominally the twice the peak input voltage Eac multiplied by the number of stages, 4 in the above diagram.

Iload is the load current C is the stage capacitance f is the AC frequency n is the number of stages. The XXX modification is illustrated in the following figure.

The sag can be reduced by increasing the capacitance in the lower stages, and cockrlft ripple can by reduced by increasing the frequency of the input and by using a square waveform.

It has the advantage of requiring relatively low cost components and being easy to insulate. This circuit can be extended to any number of stages. The CW multiplier has the disadvantage of having very poor voltage regulation, that is, the voltage drops rapidly as a function the output current.

CW multipliers are typically used to develop higher voltages for relatively low-current applications, such as bias voltages ranging from tens or hundreds of volts to millions of volts voltge high-energy physics experiments or lightning safety testing. It is quite popular for relatively low powered particle accelerators for injecting into another accelerator, particularly for heavy ions.

The CW circuit, along with other similar capacitor circuits, is often called charge pump.

Cockcroft–Walton generator

Unlike the Cockcroft-Walton multiplier generatorthe Marx generator need air for the spark gaps and can not be immersed in oil as an insulator. They also are used in everyday electronic devices that require high voltages, such as X-ray machinestelevision setsmicrowave ovens and photocopiers. It voltaye named after the British and Irish physicists John Douglas Cockcroft and Ernest Thomas Sinton Waltonwho in used this circuit design to power their particle acceleratorperforming the first artificial nuclear disintegration in history.


The no-load output voltage is twice the peak input voltage multiplied by the number of stages N or equivalently the peak-to-peak input voltage swing V pp times the number of stages.

This is particularly useful when the charging stack capacitors are significantly smaller than the output filter capacitors.

Full wave Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier

Assume the circuit is powered by an alternating voltage V i with a peak value of V pand initially the capacitors are uncharged. And, when supplying an output current, the voltage ripple rapidly increases as the number of stages is increased this can be corrected with an output filter, but it requires a stack of capacitors in order to withstand the high voltages involved.

A similar circuit is the Marx generatorwhich has the same cockrofft structure, but consists of resistors, capacitors and spark gaps.

It is made up of a voltage multiplier ladder network of capacitors and diodes to generate high voltages. Articles needing additional references from March All articles needing additional references Commons category link is on Wikidata.

For substantial loads, the charge on the capacitors is partially depleted, and the output voltage drops according to the output current divided by the capacitance.

To understand the circuit operation, salton the diagram of the two-stage version at right. The number of stages is equal to the number of capacitors in series between the output and ground.