Nav: Home

New model for assessing the effect of ionizing radiation on microelectronic devices

December 06, 2018

The main trend in the development of hardware components for digital and analog electronic equipment is to reduce the size of the active regions of diode and transistor structures. This can be achieved by improving the performance characteristics of micro- and nanoelectronics devices (increasing their speed and memory, increasing operating frequencies and power, noise reduction, etc.) while keeping production costs at the same level or even reducing them. Similar processes (with a certain time lag) also take place in the development of specialized hardware elements designed for use in space systems.

The ionizing radiation in outer space adversely affects electronic devices, resulting in reduced service life and sudden failures or malfunctions. Mathematical modeling of the response of such elements to the effects of ionizing radiation from outer space reduces the amount of testing, which eventually reduces the time and overall cost of developing micro- and nanoelectronics devices. However, analytical and simple numerical models based on linear superposition of radiation effects often fail in case of modern microwave semiconductor devices with submicron active regions, where the dynamics of physical processes is complex and non-linear.

The motion of charge carriers - electrons and holes - in semiconductor devices manufactured according to outdated topological standards with specifications for hundreds of nanometers (for comparison, the topological standards of modern processors are 10 nm) is a diffusion-drift process, that is, a slow displacement under the action of an electric field against chaotic scattering on various inhomogeneities. In this case, the system is in a locally equilibrium state, and its description is possible from the standpoint of classical statistical physics and thermodynamics.

On the contrary, particle transport in submicron semiconductor devices is quasiballistic, i.e. their motion is mostly directional, and the increase in the velocity of particles in the electric field is interrupted by sparse scattering. In this case, the system is in a deep nonequilibrium state and its thermodynamic parameters (such as the temperature of the electron-hole plasma) remain, strictly speaking, undetermined.

Traditional models of charge carrier transport are based on local-equilibrium diffusion-drift or quasi-hydrodynamic approximations formulated more than half a century ago. However, when the size of the active region of modern semiconductor structures is reduced to the energy and momentum relaxation length of the electron-hole plasma (20 ... 50 nm for Si and GaAs under normal conditions) and the flight time through the active region is reduced to duration of the order of the energy and momentum relaxation time of electron-hole plasma (0.1 ... 0.2 ps for Si and GaAs under normal conditions), the condition of locality is violated, which leads to an increase in the error when calculating the characteristics of the elements.

Analysis of the submicron structures' response to the effects of ionizing radiation from outer space additionally requires taking into account the heterogeneity of ionization and defect formation, as well as the stochastic nature of the interaction of radiation and particles with matter. As a result, the model of gradual degradation of the macroscopic characteristics of a semiconductor becomes inapplicable. Therefore, for submicron structures, the probabilistic model of sudden radiation failures becomes preferable.

According to Alexander Puzanov, Associate Professor at the UNN Department of Quantum Radiophysics and Electronics, researchers from Lobachevsky University together with their colleagues from the Institute of Physics of Microstructures of the Russian Academy of Sciences have proposed a diffusion-drift model in a locally non-equilibrium approximation for analyzing the excitation relaxation in an electron-hole plasma under the influence of heavy charged particles from outer space or of laser radiation that imitates them.

"It was shown that the locally nonequilibrium model has a wider application range for describing fast relaxation processes, in particular, it accurately takes into account the ballistic velocity of charge carriers, which is necessary to calculate the current flowing in semiconductor structures when they are exposed to heavy charged particles from outer space. It can also be used to determine the probability of failure and malfunction of micro- and nanoelectronics devices," notes Alexander Puzanov.

Currently, work is underway to develop the locally nonequilibrium model of carrier transport in the following areas:
  • formulation of a locally nonequilibrium quasi-hydrodynamic model;

  • calculation of the characteristics of submillimeter frequency multipliers based on Schottky diodes;

  • verification of the model by comparing simulation results with experimental data.

-end-
Results of the study were published in the journal Semiconductors: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1063782618110209

Lobachevsky University

Related Semiconductor Articles:

Ultrafast tunable semiconductor metamaterial created
An international team of researchers has devised an ultrafast tunable metamaterial based on gallium arsenide nanoparticles, as published by Nature Communications.
Graphene 'copy machine' may produce cheap semiconductor wafers
A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon.
Method improves semiconductor fiber optics, paves way for developing devices
A new method to improve semiconductor fiber optics may lead to a material structure that might one day revolutionize the global transmission of data, according to an interdisciplinary team of researchers.
Scientists discover new 'boat' form of promising semiconductor GeSe
Princeton researchers have discovered a new form of the simple compound GeSe that has surprisingly escaped detection until now.
UNIST engineers oxide semiconductor just single atom thick
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, has introduced a new technique that efficiently isolates circulating tumor cells from whole blood at a liquid-liquid interface.
Semiconductor-free microelectronics are now possible, thanks to metamaterials
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have fabricated the first semiconductor-free, optically-controlled microelectronic device.
Notre Dame researchers find transition point in semiconductor nanomaterials
Collaborative research at Notre Dame has demonstrated that electronic interactions play a significant role in the dimensional crossover of semiconductor nanomaterials.
Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties
A newly discovered method for making two-dimensional materials could lead to new and extraordinary properties, particularly in a class of materials called nitrides, say the Penn State materials scientists who discovered the process.
UA organic semiconductor research could boost electronics
A team of UA researchers in engineering and chemistry has received $590,000 from the National Science Foundation to enhance the effectiveness of organic semiconductors for making ultrathin and flexible optoelectronics like OLED displays for TVs and mobile phones.
NREL theory establishes a path to high-performance 2-D semiconductor devices
Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have uncovered a way to overcome a principal obstacle in using two-dimensional (2-D) semiconductors in electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Related Semiconductor Reading:

Semiconductor Manufacturing Handbook, Second Edition
by Hwaiyu Geng (Author)

The Essential Guide to Semiconductors
by Jim Turley (Author)

Semiconductor Device Fundamentals
by Robert F. Pierret (Author)

Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization
by Dieter K. Schroder (Author)

Semiconductor Physics And Devices: Basic Principles
by Donald A. Neamen (Author)

Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology
by Simon M. Sze (Author), Ming-Kwei Lee (Author)

Physics of Semiconductor Devices
by Simon M. Sze (Author), Kwok K. Ng (Author)

Fabless: The Transformation of the Semiconductor Industry
by Daniel Nenni (Author), Paul McLellan (Contributor)

Essential Guide to Semiconductors
by John Holland (Editor)

Chips and Change: How Crisis Reshapes the Semiconductor Industry (The MIT Press)
by The MIT Press

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Circular
We're told if the economy is growing, and if we keep producing, that's a good thing. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers explore circular systems that regenerate and re-use what we already have. Guests include economist Kate Raworth, environmental activist Tristram Stuart, landscape architect Kate Orff, entrepreneur David Katz, and graphic designer Jessi Arrington.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#504 The Art of Logic
How can mathematics help us have better arguments? This week we spend the hour with "The Art of Logic in an Illogical World" author, mathematician Eugenia Cheng, as she makes her case that the logic of mathematics can combine with emotional resonance to allow us to have better debates and arguments. Along the way we learn a lot about rigorous logic using arguments you're probably having every day, while also learning a lot about our own underlying beliefs and assumptions.