A New Development in Radiation Hardening of Military Electronic Circuitry,
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER N J
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Integrated circuits and discrete semiconductor devices, although very reliable under normal environmental conditions, have a low vulnerability threshold to nuclear radiation. The highest radiation tolerance of crystalline semiconductor devices is approximately 10 to the 13th power nsq cm and is dependent on device type and construction. A significantly new approach to radiation hardening of electronic systems, involving the application of amorphous semiconductor devices, was investigated. These devices are bistable circuit elements exhibiting switching or memory properties and can be used as the only active elements in binary logic circuitry. The primary damage caused by neutrons is the generation of crystal defects which act as electronhole traps, recombination centers and scattering centers, and, reduce minority carrier lifetime. Since amorphous materials are disordered structures a high radiation tolerance is expected. The switchingmemory elements are bulk effect devices without p-n junctions and the electrical transport is governed by majority carriers.
- Solid State Physics