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Many photovoltaic inverter designs make use of a buck based switched mode power supply (SMPS) to produce a rectified sinusoidal waveform. This waveform is then unfolded by a low frequency switching structure to produce a fully sinusoidal waveform. The Cuk SMPS could offer advantages over the buck in such applications. Unfortunately the Cuk converter is considered to be difficult to control using classical methods. Correct closed loop design is essential for stable operation of Cuk converters. Due to these stability issues, Cuk converter based designs often require stiff low bandwidth control loops. In order to achieve this stable closed loop performance, traditional designs invariably need large, unreliable electrolytic capacitors. In this paper, an inverter with a sliding mode control approach is presented which enables the designer to make use of the Cuk converters advantages, while ameliorating control difficulties. This control method allows the selection of passive components based predominantly on ripple and reliability specifications while requiring only one state reference signal. This allows much smaller, more reliable non-electrolytic capacitors to be used. A prototype inverter has been constructed and results obtained which demonstrate the design flexibility of the Cuk topology when coupled with sliding mode control.