- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Spaceflight system electronic devices must survive a wide range of radiation environments with various particle types including energetic protons, electrons, gamma rays, x-rays, and heavy ions. High-energy charged particles such as heavy ions can pass straight through a semiconductor material and interact with a charge-sensitive region, generating a significant amount of charge (electron-hole pairs) along their tracks. These excess charges can damage the device, and the response can range from temporary perturbations to permanent changes in the state or performance. These phenomena are called single event effects (SEE). Before application in flight systems, electronic parts need to be qualified and tested for performance and radiation sensitivity. Typically, their susceptibility to SEE is tested by exposure to an ion beam from a particle accelerator. At such facilities, the device under test (DUT) is irradiated with large beams so there is no fine resolution to investigate particular regions of sensitivity on the parts. While it is the most reliable approach for radiation qualification, these evaluations are time consuming and costly. There is always a need for new cost-efficient strategies to complement accelerator testing: pulsed lasers provide such a solution. Pulsed laser light can be utilized to simulate heavy ion effects with the advantage of being able to localize the sensitive region of an integrated circuit. Generally, a focused laser beam of approximately picosecond pulse duration is used to generate carrier density in the semiconductor device. During irradiation, the laser pulse is absorbed by the electronic medium with a wavelength selected accordingly by the user, and the laser energy can ionize and simulate SEE as would occur in space. With a tightly focused near infrared (NIR) laser beam, the beam waist of about a micrometer can be achieved, and additional scanning techniques are able to yield submicron resolution. This feature allows mapping of all of the sensitive regions of the studied device with fine resolution, unlike heavy ion experiments. The problematic regions can be precisely identified, and it provides a considerable amount of information about the circuit. In addition, the system allows flexibility for testing the device in different configurations in situ.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20120000818.
NASA Tech Briefs, July 2011; 11-12.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 16008985