Skip to Main Content
This paper describes a low cost, easy-to-implement circuit for triggering ignitrons in plasma physics experiments and other pulsed power applications. Using insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) for rapid switching, the circuit delivers >2 peak current from a 0.1-μF capacitor to the ignitron trigger pin with a rise time of ~ 0.6 μs. The trigger circuit is isolated from the ignitron by a pulse transformer. Details of the circuit design and practical considerations for working with IGBTs are discussed. Sources of inductance in the system are identified, and leakage inductance associated with the pulse transformer is shown to be the primary factor limiting the pulse rise time.