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James Morrison

James Morrison

James Morrison has more than 30 years of expertise in high-voltage power supply design and manufacturing for applications from scientific analysis and x-ray to intense pulsed lasers, mass spectrometry, nanotechnology, and aerospace.

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High Voltage Highlights



May 11, 2017

In part one and part two of our three-part series, we discussed laser photonics and electro-optics. This final part of our series cover detectors. Optoelectronic detectors are used for measuring photon, electron, and ion energy from various sources such as ion beams, electron beams, x-rays, lasers, phosphors, dyes, LEDs, and lamps. Common types of detectors include photo-multiplier tubes (PMT), avalanche photo diodes (APD), micro-channel plates (MCP), silicon detectors (SID), PIN diodes, charge-coupled devices (CCD), and thin-film transistors (TFT).

Detectors vary in spectral response, quantum efficiency, bandwidth, signal-to-noise ratio, and configuration (large area, matrix). Common to many detector requirements is the need for a controlled voltage that is adjustable for initial calibration, detector aging, or temperature fluctuations. Other performance requirements are current limiting; low ripple (< 0.01%) to very low ripple (< 5 ppm); and tight stability over time, temperature, and load. Depending on application, the detector may use a second high voltage to bias a scintillator material.

Advanced Energy offers the V, M, and D series of DC-to-HVDC for miniature applications such as hand-held or battery-powered devices. These are the smallest, full-feature devices in the industry for their voltage and power class. Advanced Energy also offers the A, A-F (with filter), AA, PPM, and PM10 series DC-to-HVDC supplies to support higher-powered 4 W to 30 W applications.

The Advanced Energy high-voltage product line delivers excellent performance and enabling key features, and the products are supported by experienced technical sales and applications engineering support staff worldwide.

James Morrison


April 28, 2017

In part one of our three-part series, we discussed how high-voltage power supplies support reliability and repeatability in laser photonics. In part two, our focus is on Electro-optics (EO). Electro-optics are the materials that interact between the electromagnetic (optical) and the electric (electronic) state, thereby modifying the refractive index of a material by electric fields. The EO effect makes materials transition from optically reflective to transmissive. Examples are liquid Kerr cells, where the change is proportional to the square of the electric field, and crystal Pockels cells, where the change varies linearly with the electric field.

Continuous wave (CW) and pulsed lasers often require electro-optics to control frequency, average power level, and peak power level, and to gate or emit an output beam of specific pulse width and duration—often in a specific range from milliseconds (mS) to Femtoseconds (fS). Electro-optics are used in science, research, analytical instrument, industrial, and medical applications.

It is crucial that HV amplifiers and HV switches for electro-optic drivers are powered by high-voltage DC supplies with low ripple (< 0.1%), low initial over-shoot (< 0.1%), and good dynamic recovery (peak voltage and settling time) from peak loads.

Advanced Energy offers the A series and AA series DC-to-HVDC bias supplies to deliver these specific performance results, from 4 W to 30 W, as part of an electro-optics driver design from DC-to-fS with industry-leading performance, reliability, and high-voltage power density.

Advanced Energy also offers a complete high-voltage amplifier (HVA) series in a compact size at an enabling cost that can directly drive electro-optics at speeds of DC-to-mS.

James Morrison

April 10, 2017

At recent photonics conferences, researchers and designers from laboratories and corporations worldwide have been introducing exciting technologies and solutions in the field of optoelectronics. These devices will enable the latest products for reliable and repeatable results in science, research, analytical instruments, industrial process, and medical applications. Optoelectronics utilize lasers, electro-optics, and detectors to bring light and electronics together. In part one of this three-part blog series, we’ll focus on lasers. Later, we’ll cover electro-optics and detectors.   

A laser is a device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation) by stimulated emission of photons from excited atoms or molecules. Most lasers are semiconductor diode-based or gas tube-based. While single-diode lasers often use a low-voltage power source at high current, most higher-powered lasers use a pulsed high voltage through an array of laser diodes or a gas laser tube.

Pulsed lasers require precision, high-voltage (HV), pulsed power to achieve accurate pulse-to-pulse repeatability, essential to long-term electronics reliability and repeatable results in science, research, analytical instrument, industrial, and medical applications. One key element—over-shoot, varying from pulse to pulse—will dramatically affect the energy of each pulse (voltage squared) and can damage high-voltage switches. An error of 10% in charge voltage results in a change of 20% in joules stored, and the same 10% error can cause over-voltage to HV switches directly or during any resonant ringing. In pulsed-power applications directly driving the laser, it’s critical that the high-voltage, capacitor-charging power supplies feature very low over-shoot and high-accuracy, pulse-to-pulse repeatability (< 0.1%) to achieve consistent energy levels, and to protect high-voltage switching devices. Advanced Energy offers the C series and CC series DC-to-HVDC capacitor-charging supplies to deliver these specific performance results from 30 W to 1 kW with industry-leading performance and package size for power and voltage density.

Photo of C Series Power Supply          
Continuous wave (CW) lasers require a precision, current-regulated, high-voltage power supply that delivers accurate and repeatable current while protecting the laser and electronics with programmable limits for output voltage and current. This run power supply typically requires specifications of 1.0% and often < 0.1% or better for accuracy and stability over time, temperature, and load.

If the CW laser is gas-based, an additional low-power strike power supply is needed at 3X to 10X higher voltage to ionize the gas to a conduction state that a high-voltage, diode-isolated run supply can sustain. Advanced Energy offers the C series and CC series DC-to-HVDC supplies and MV series and OL series AC-to-HVDC supplies to deliver specific run power supply results from 30 W to 10 kW+. Advanced Energy also offers the A series and AA series DC-to-HVDC supplies and optional second outputs on the AC-to-HVDC supplies to deliver the strike power supply results needed.
Photo of MV Power Supply
Photo of OL20K Series Power Supply
Photo of AA Series Power Supply
Photo of A Series Power Supply


James Morrison

December 27, 2016


Delivering Solutions for High-Voltage Challenges

In 2016, Advanced Energy continued to solve high-voltage challenges by advancing the products and the processes that make our HiTek Power® and UltraVolt® product lines the choice of designers around the world. We offer a comprehensive high-voltage selection within our 57 product lines. We are also happy to work with you directly on a derivative of one or more of our existing products, and even create a fully customized product that meets your unique requirements. Our precision high-voltage modules, racks, and custom solutions power mission-critical end-user and OEM applications such as:
  • X-ray – Advanced controls and protection with great stability and reliability
  • E-beam – Very low ripple and noise, and PPM-level stability
    NEW! Our EG353 power supply offers precision electron beam HVPS SEM and FIB-based tools, with high accuracy, high stability, and low ripple and noise.
  • I-beam – Rugged for harsh applications and provides excellent stability
    NEW! Our MV3000 power supply is perfect for ion beam magnets and other 0 to 300 VDC high power applications, with high accuracy, high stability, and low ripple and noise.
  • Laser – Power in a small size for laser and electro-optics, including HV amplifiers
  • Ultrasonics – Sophisticated micro-sized HV power, from 100 mW to 30 W, for portable and hand-held devices
  • Detectors Micro-sized, floating, and PPM-level performance solutions
  • Standard modules and accessories – Pre-engineered products and accessories with fast lead times
    NEW! Our 40-60C pulsed power and DC bias power supplies include DC to HVDC modules for 40 to 60 kV at a volume of 10 CC per HV watt.
We think it’s important that we not only provide the best product selection, but easy access to the high-performance specifications and information you need, when you need it, so you can make the best decisions. Our comprehensive website provides the detail to do just that. Now, you can simplify your search by entering your unique specifications into our high-voltage product search page. Simply enter your minimum/maximum output voltage and power needs, along with other advanced criteria, and review a list of the products that will work for your environment.

We hope you’ve had the opportunity to check out some of our latest on-demand webinars, including:
High-Voltage Power for Mass Spectrometry
High-Voltage Power for Industrial X-Ray Sources and Detectors 

Throughout the year, we continued to work hard to provide best-in-class support with 15 Advanced Energy sales offices globally, plus a worldwide network of high-voltage distributors, all supported by two Advanced Energy high-voltage design centers. More than 200 direct service professionals are located near customer sites around the world, and our footprint includes best-in-class manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., U.K., China, and India. Our industry-leading quality management systems are independently verified as best-in-class in the industries we serve. 

Updating you on the latest trends, industry news, and information related to high voltage is important to us, and we hope you’ve had the opportunity to check out our High Voltage Highlights blog posts throughout the year.

We hit the trade show circuit throughout 2016, rounding out the year in Tokyo at SEMICON Japan.

It is our pleasure to find ways to help make your manufacturing environments work seamlessly by providing accurate, reliable high-voltage power. We look forward to continuing to find new ways to solve your most challenging problems.

Have a happy New Year!

James Morrison

December 12, 2016

I’ve just returned from the 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Lasers, Optics, and Photonics held in Atlanta. There was much to see and learn with 55 global presenters focused on science, research, and commercial viability in this fascinating field. Scientists, researchers, and scholars exchanged information on research findings related to all aspects of optics, lasers, and photonics. Recent innovations, trends, and challenges in these fields were also shared. The conference organizers plan to share videos of the presentations online in January. We will link to those from this page as soon as they become available.

Advanced Energy was proud to be a corporate sponsor of the conference. I had the privilege of speaking to an academic audience on Advanced Energy’s high-voltage products and share some insights on current applications.
In addition to high voltage, there were many exciting topics presented during the conference, including:
  • Material science research
  • New processes and solutions in semiconductors
  • Nano-photonics
  • Optics
  • Lasers
  • Biophotonics using precision low voltage
  • RF-based CW and pulsed lasers
  • X-rays
  • Detectors
  • Opto-electronics
We were pleased to be a part of this event and look forward to building on the relationships we made during our time in Atlanta.


James Morrison

November 15, 2016

View this presentation now and learn how to optimize high-voltage performance for your industrial x-ray applications.
The quality and performance of your system is only as good as its internal components, particularly when it comes to high voltage. If you are experiencing challenges in your industrial x-ray applications, careful consideration of the internal high-voltage source may offer a simple solution.

In a recent one-hour, engineer-to-engineer webinar, I covered the fundamentals of high-voltage power and detailed how key performance elements affect x-ray generation and detection accuracy in a variety of processes. I also shared key system design considerations and how to optimize high-voltage performance and x-ray results.
The presentation is now available on demand—register and view it at your convenience to learn more, including:
  • The primary parts of a typical x-ray source and a typical x-ray high-voltage power supply
  • The impact of specific high-voltage parameters on performance and reliability
  • The importance of optimal high-voltage component integration to all system elements
  • The ways high-voltage performance and overall system design, setup, and operation can overcome undesirable process effects and enable optimal x-ray results
  • Advice for selecting the right high-voltage component for your desired results
I hope you’ll take advantage of this powerful learning opportunity!

James Morrison

August 30, 2016

As a global leader in the development and support of technologies critical to the production of semiconductors, Advanced Energy has a long-standing reputation as a leading and reliable power provider. In this final segment of our three-part high-voltage series, we analyze how specific HiTek® and UltraVolt® products resolve semiconductor application challenges, particularly for electrostatic chuck (e-chuck or ESC), ion implantation, and e-beam for SEM (scanning electron microscope) tools. In these applications, AE high-voltage products deliver impressive performance that can improve tool process resolution, accuracy, and stability—which translates to increased throughput and yield.

Requirements for a successful e-chuck controller implementation include a high-reliability high-voltage power source capable of proper chucking and unchucking.This power source must also provide critical high-voltage performance data in order to identify partial chucking or in-process dechucking faults.The highest-performance AE devices enable monitoring for contamination or catastrophic failure.

Photo of AA Series Power Supply

For standard E-chuck applications, AE offers UltraVolt AA and UltraVolt RS unipolar and bipolar devices, from 0 to 500 V (up to 10 kV) and 0 to 4 W (up to 250 W), with output voltage and current monitoring.For more advanced e-chuck applications, AE offers the stable UltraVolt FLHV series to manage the strong force of e-chucks with advanced controls and monitoring as well as floating (isolated) unipolar/bipolar high-voltage outputs. This series consists of 2 kV to 6 kV isolated unipolar and bipolar devices, from 0 to 500 V (up to 6 kV) and 0 to 10 W (up to 30 W).For any e-chuck applications requiring polarity switching or high-voltage wave forms, HiTek MSRZ and UltraVolt HVA devices support source and sync current capability.

Click here to set up a discussion with an AE high-voltage expert about semi-specific solutions for your application.  
In ion implantation, the power source must manage excessive arcing conditions to achieve exceptionally high performance.Ion implanters require ion beams with the highest level of accuracy and purity possible. Advanced Energy makes this a reality for designers by offering high-quality power product lines with PPM-level ripple, low-frequency noise, temperature coefficient, and power-quality stability.The single-output HiTek OLS series provides high-power high voltage and advanced arc management for ion sources and ion optics throughout the beam line, while the HiTek MV series provides high-power medium voltage for energy filter magnets.For precision SEM e-beam applications, the accurate and reliable 35 kV HiTek Power EG353 series helps maximize image quality and repeatability.

AE’s offering of standard high-voltage modules and racks extends much farther than just these few examples. We also produce derivatives and custom solutions with a host of advantages to align with customer requirements and improve tool performance.

Contact us to discuss specific advances in high-voltage technology or solutions for your application-specific challenges. Our high-voltage experts will also be on hand at these upcoming tradeshows:


James Morrison

July 14, 2016

Advanced Energy® continues to serve the industrial market with industry-leading precision power, service, and repair. We work in collaboration with our customers every day, listening to their needs and adapting our high-voltage solutions to solve problems as they arise. 

In this discussion, we’ll take a look at three major categories of the industrial market and how specific high-voltage products meet modern application challenges.

UltraVolt XRG70 Series

Beginning with the x-ray field, AE’s compact HiTek® XRG series provides highly reliable precision power from 50 to 80 W, 25 to 90 kV, for applications requiring x-ray fluorescence or diffraction capabilities. For applications requiring higher-power x-ray imaging or diffraction, the fully featured HiTek XR series provides a more versatile solution, supplying precision power from 25 kV to 90 kV at 0 to 1 kW or 0 to 2 kW. Both the XRG and XR series can enhance x-ray tube performance and life.

UltraVolt HVA Series
In mass spectrometry, AE’s comprehensive HiTek MS series provides high performance for time-of-flight instruments. With a range of PPM levels, and unipolar, bipolar, and reversible outputs, the MS series, along with UltraVolt® HVA high-voltage amplifiers and UltraVolt RS rail supplies, can improve performance of ion optics in quadrupole analyzers. The comprehensive line for mass spectrometry enables designers to realize their goals in many other high-performance analytical instrument applications. 

Finally, in industrial and semiconductor applications, AE high-voltage products provide precision electron beam capabilities, such as for scanning electron microscopes and focused ion beam inspection systems. The HiTek EG series of precision electron gun and focused ion beam power supplies is another compact, PPM-level product that enhances resolution, reliability, and stability. Ranging from 0 to 5 kV, to 0 to 90 kV, the EG series features advanced controls and interfaces, including an isolated filament supply (floating beam reference), suppressor, extractor, and optional lens capability.

AE offers standard products and application-specific solutions for far more than just these few examples. We also produce derivatives and custom solutions to align with customer requirements. Next time, we’ll take a closer look at semiconductor applications.  


  • Read about AE's fast worldwide support services and comprehensive HV product selection, including solutions for an array of standard applications, as well as application-specific solutions.
  • Read AE's high-voltage quick select chart for additional product details. 

James Morrison

June 17, 2016

Although the influence of Advanced Energy® products may not be easily recognizable in your daily environment, they are critically involved in many of the devices you interact with and depend on every day. They are key components in the manufacturing of technologies such as your smartphone and in the lab equipment used at your last doctor’s visit. The last time you traveled, you encountered airport security screening equipment and aircraft electrical components that depend on the kinds of technologies AE provides.

As a trusted technology partner for over 35 years, Advanced Energy is a worldwide leader in delivering precision power products, including mission-critical high-voltage solutions for exacting application requirements in semiconductor and industrial markets. Our industry-leading designs and specialized, ultra-stable power solutions enable vital customer applications with accurate and reliable operation and electrical system integrity.

Baggage Screening

In the industrial markets, Advanced Energy’s high-voltage products enable original equipment manufacturers to excel in x-ray imaging, diffraction, and fluorescence, as well as mass spectrometry and precision electron-beam applications. These products are an integral part of applications such as food safety, manufacturing, research, forensics, and life sciences. Crossing over into the semiconductor industry, AE’s technology in precision electron-beam (scanning electron microscope and focused ion-beam inspection tools), electrostatic chuck, and ion implant tools power customer innovation at every level of wafer manufacturing.

Standard products are available in the form of high-voltage racks, systems, and modules. We also produce custom solutions to precisely match customer specifications. In upcoming blog posts, we’ll dive deeper into some of these areas with engineer-to-engineer expertise on high voltage, analyzing specific applications for industrial and semiconductor markets.


  • Read about AE's fast worldwide support services and comprehensive HV product selection, including solutions for an array of standard applications, as well as application-specific solutions.
  • Read AE's high-voltage quick select chart for additional product details. 

James Morrison

February 15, 2016

Easily Connect DACs and ADCs from MCUs and PLC Controllers for a Distributed Control Scheme

A frequent discussion with OEM system designers is the selection of control schemes as tradeoffs are made between development times, capability and complexity, and total cost. The following discussion focuses on the latest generation of analog-interface high-voltage power supplies (HVPS) that are digital ready, and the benefits they bring to the designer.


Older analog interfaces were limited in features and often were optimized to an analog-design implementation. Control inputs to the HVPS were scaled to 0 to X VDC and often X was calibrated with an op-amp circuit created by the OEM designer to calibrate the HVPS within the controlled system. Monitoring of output voltage and current was often another range, such as 0 to Y, and the designer would add scaling resistors or additional op-amp circuits to range and calibrate. These steps enabled better accuracy and repeatability from system to system, yet required individual calibration of controls and monitors, a time-consuming process requiring trained staff with special HV equipment.


Digital-ready analog is a higher-performance, fully featured analog interface for precision-power applications that directly connects to DACs and ADCs.
Digital-ready analog is a higher-performance, fully featured analog interface for precision-power applications that directly connects to DACs and ADCs. Advanced Energy’s newer HVPS analog interfaces are optimized for 0 to +5 VDC or 0 to +10 VDC controls (0 to 100% full scale) with 0 to +5 VDC or 0 to +10 VDC buffered monitors (0 to 100% full scale). These signals are calibrated at the factory to ±2 to ±0.1%, depending on the product and level of performance selected, eliminating the need for additional op-amp circuits and HV calibration. This enables designers to easily connect DACs and ADCs from MCUs and PLC controllers for a distributed control scheme.

Additional capabilities on many AE HVPS with digital-ready interfaces:

  • Precision buffered voltage reference with ±0.1 to ±0.05% accuracy and temperature coefficients of ±10 to ±5 PPM per °C enhances HVPS performance. When utilized for control circuits system, accuracy is further enhanced.
  • Voltage programming and current programming control inputs enable voltage and current regulation and limiting.
  • True output current monitor enables internal HVPS currents to be nulled out; 0 output current is 0 output monitor.
  • Current and voltage mode indicators via open drain “bits” enable MCU/PLC monitoring and will support LED indicators (100 mA current sink).
  • TTL enable/disable control of the HV output.


A digital-ready, distributed analog control scheme is based on a single, centrally located MCU/PLC with associated hardware and firmware, a solution that is significantly lower in total cost compared with having a full digital system within each HVPS.


Read more about AE's fast worldwide support services and comprehensive HV product selection, including solutions for an array of standard applications, as well as application-specific solutions.


James Morrison

December 8, 2015

Continuing Advancement of Technologies, Solutions, and Support

Advanced Energy®’s high-voltage product line continued to grow during 2015, offering designers more solutions to their high-voltage challenges at various levels of performance and complexity. In Littlehampton, U.K., and New York, U.S.A., our R&D, design, and manufacturing centers continued to advance the technology, products, and processes that made the HiTek Power® and UltraVolt® product lines the choice of designers worldwide.


Advanced Energy’s high-voltage offering of standard products and application-specific standard products, outlined in our High-Voltage Quick Select Chart, now totals 57 product lines. If you don’t see the device needed for your project, we can work together on a derivative or full custom.


AE provides best-in-class support with 15 Advanced Energy sales offices globally, plus a worldwide network of high-voltage distributors, all supported by two Advanced Energy high-voltage design centers.


AE high-voltage modules and racks power technologies such as:
  • X-ray
  • E-beam
  • I-beam
  • Laser
  • Ultrasonics
  • Pulsed power
  • DC power
  • Detectors
  • Unipolar and bipolar amplifier rails
  • HV amplifiers


Application-specific standard products are available for analytical equipment such as:
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Industrial and analytical x-ray
    • XRF
    • XRD
    • XRR
    • Imaging
  • Industrial and SEMI
    • High-power e-beam and i-beam tools
    • Precision e-beam SEM tools
  • Medical diagnostic and treatment scanners, lasers, and ultrasound
  • Military and commercial avionics and sensors
  • Military electronic countermeasures


DC to HVDC Micro-sized Modules
1 to 55 cm3
0 to 50 V to 6kV at 100 mW to 30 W

DC to HV Amplifiers
Unipolar and bipolar
0 to 1 to 20 kV, 1 to 4 W


DC to DC HV Isolation Modules
Rated for 0 to 15 kV to 30 kV


DC to HVDC Bipolar Rail Supplies
0 to ±25 VDC to ±6 kV


AC PFC to HVDC Racks
0 to 20 V to 500 kV
4 W to 20 kW, 120 kW in parallel


Mass Spectrometer DC to HVDC modules
Ionization, ion beam, and ion optics
Mass analyzer


X-Ray Tube DC to HVDC 50 to 150 W Compact Modules
25 to 90 kV
Accelerator and grounded or floating filament
Optional grid


X-Ray Tube AC PFC to HVDC 1 to 2 kW Racks
25 to 90 kV
Accelerator and grounded or floating filament
Optional grid


Precision Electron Beam SEM Solutions
0 to 5 to 60 kV accelerator
Floating filament, suppressor, grid, and optional lens


James Morrison