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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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Date Created
2014

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Total dose effects and hardening-by-design methodologies for implantable medical devices

Description

Implantable medical device technology is commonly used by doctors for disease management, aiding to improve patient quality of life. However, it is possible for these devices to be exposed to ionizing radiation during various medical therapeutic and diagnostic activities while

Implantable medical device technology is commonly used by doctors for disease management, aiding to improve patient quality of life. However, it is possible for these devices to be exposed to ionizing radiation during various medical therapeutic and diagnostic activities while implanted. This commands that these devices remain fully operational during, and long after, radiation exposure. Many implantable medical devices employ standard commercial complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) processes for integrated circuit (IC) development, which have been shown to degrade with radiation exposure. This necessitates that device manufacturers study the effects of ionizing radiation on their products, and work to mitigate those effects to maintain a high standard of reliability. Mitigation can be completed through targeted radiation hardening by design (RHBD) techniques as not to infringe on the device operational specifications. This thesis details a complete radiation analysis methodology that can be implemented to examine the effects of ionizing radiation on an IC as part of RHBD efforts. The methodology is put into practice to determine the failure mechanism in a charge pump circuit, common in many of today's implantable pacemaker designs, as a case study. Charge pump irradiation data shows a reduction of circuit output voltage with applied dose. Through testing of individual test devices, the response is identified as parasitic inter-device leakage caused by trapped oxide charge buildup in the isolation oxides. A library of compact models is generated to represent isolation oxide parasitics based on test structure data along with 2-Dimensional structure simulation results. The original charge pump schematic is then back-annotated with transistors representative of the parasitic. Inclusion of the parasitic devices in schematic allows for simulation of the entire circuit, accounting for possible parasitic devices activated by radiation exposure. By selecting a compact model for the parasitics generated at a specific dose, the compete circuit response is then simulated at the defined dose. The reduction of circuit output voltage with dose is then re-created in a radiation-enabled simulation validating the analysis methodology.

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Date Created
2010