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Radiation effects of semiconductor devices


Radiation Effects on Semiconductor Devices and Circuits
Space environment is exposed to cosmic rays and solar flares and is considered to be a radiation-rich environment. Depending on the particle energy, device structure, and the irradiation source, the interaction between an energetic particle and a semiconductor transistor can damage the device in three ways: 1) ionization damage, occurs when charged particles such as protons and electrons traversing through the material, generate electron-hole pairs by disrupting the electronic bonds; 2) displacement damage, which is associated with displacement of atoms from their usual lattice locations; and 3) single event effects, which occurs when the generated electron-hole pairs from the interaction between a high energy particle and the device, couple to critical circuit nodes. In this work, a comprehensive investigation of the performance dependencies of irradiated SiGe voltage reference circuits on the total ionization dose (TID) level, circuit topology, and radiation source was conducted. The degradation in circuit performance after x-ray irradiation was demonstrated to be dependent on both the circuit topology, and the TID level and it was demonstrated that, at the same TID level, x-ray irradiation degrades the circuit performance more than proton irradiation. Detailed analysis was provided to explain the observed anomalies. In addition, Single-event transient responses of SiGe reference circuits were examined through heavy ion microbeam experiment. It was shown that depending on the location of the strike, the magnitude and the duration of the transients vary from one event to another.

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