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Title page for ETD etd-03162012-145223

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Clemens, Michael Andrew
URN etd-03162012-145223
Title Energy deposition mechanisms for proton- and neutron-induced single event upsets in modern electronic devices
Degree PhD
Department Physics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert A. Weller Committee Chair
Marcus H. Mendenhall Committee Member
Robert A. Reed Committee Member
Sokrates T. Pantelides Committee Member
Volker E. Oberacker Committee Member
  • proton radiation effects
  • neutron radiation effects
  • high-Z materials
  • single event mechanisms
  • single event effects
  • Monte Carlo
  • energy deposition
Date of Defense 2012-03-12
Availability unrestricted
As the dimensions in modern integrated circuits (ICs) become smaller, electronic devices become more susceptible to failure due to radiation effects. One type of effect, caused by energy deposition from a single particle strike, is called a single event upset (SEU). SEUs are a concern for devices both in space, where cosmic-ray protons dominate the natural radiation environment, and at terrestrial levels, where energetic neutrons are present. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms behind proton- and neutron-induced energy deposition in modern electronic devices.

This dissertation uses experimental and Monte Carlo techniques to show that en- ergetic protons and neutrons can induce fission in tungsten producing highly ionizing secondary particles that are able to increase the single bit upset (SBU) and multiple cell upset (MCU) cross sections for devices with a high critical charge (Qcrit). Addi- tionally, this work presents Monte Carlo calculations which demonstrate that 14 MeV neutrons can cause SBUs and MCUs at the same cross section as the terrestrial-level energy spectrum of neutrons for 65 nm SRAM devices with a low Qcrit, due to secondary alpha particles from 14 MeV neutron-silicon inelastic collisions.

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