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Total dose simulation for high reliability electronics

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New technologies enable the exploration of space, high-fidelity defense systems, lighting fast intercontinental communication systems as well as medical technologies that extend and improve patient lives. The basis for these technologies is high reliability electronics devised to meet stringent design

New technologies enable the exploration of space, high-fidelity defense systems, lighting fast intercontinental communication systems as well as medical technologies that extend and improve patient lives. The basis for these technologies is high reliability electronics devised to meet stringent design goals and to operate consistently for many years deployed in the field. An on-going concern for engineers is the consequences of ionizing radiation exposure, specifically total dose effects. For many of the different applications, there is a likelihood of exposure to radiation, which can result in device degradation and potentially failure. While the total dose effects and the resulting degradation are a well-studied field and methodologies to help mitigate degradation have been developed, there is still a need for simulation techniques to help designers understand total dose effects within their design. To that end, the work presented here details simulation techniques to analyze as well as predict the total dose response of a circuit. In this dissertation the total dose effects are broken into two sub-categories, intra-device and inter-device effects in CMOS technology. Intra-device effects degrade the performance of both n-channel and p-channel transistors, while inter-device effects result in loss of device isolation. In this work, multiple case studies are presented for which total dose degradation is of concern. Through the simulation techniques, the individual device and circuit responses are modeled post-irradiation. The use of these simulation techniques by circuit designers allow predictive simulation of total dose effects, allowing focused design changes to be implemented to increase radiation tolerance of high reliability electronics.

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2014