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Investigating the effects of cosmic rays on space electronics

: Höeffgen, Stefan; Metzger, Stefan; Steffens, Michael

Volltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-6031005 (1.6 MByte PDF)
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Erstellt am: 25.9.2020

Frontiers in physics 8 (2020), Art. 318, 9 S.
ISSN: 2296-424X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer INT ()
single-event effect; space electronics; radiation effects; satellite systems; heavy ion accelerators; cosmic rays (CR)

The radiation environment in space has severely adverse effects on electronic systems. To evaluate radiation sensitivity, electronics are tested on earth with different types of irradiation sources. Cosmic Rays (CR) are the most difficult to simulate on earth, because CR can have energies up to 10E20 eV, with a flux maximum around 1 GeV/nucleon. Traditionally these single-event effects of these particles were simulated with heavy ions having energies of only a few MeV/nucleon because for “large” devices only the energy loss (often referred to as LET) had to be matched. Heavy ions of such high energies can produce secondary particles through nuclear interactions which can induce additional ionization that leads to adverse effects. The need to investigate these effects has grown since electronic devices incorporate more and more heavier elements (e.g., Cu, W) close to sensitive elements which can have significantly larger nuclear cross sections than in the 1 to 10 MeV/nucleon energy regime. At the moment there is a large trend in the space community to increasingly use commercial of the shelf (COTS) electronic devices. One of the reasons is that many challenging space applications can only be met with COTS devices because there are simply no space qualified devices (often referred to as HiRel) available with the necessary performance. Another trend in the evolution of Si-based microelectronic integrated circuits is to create 3-dimensional structures. There are already commercially available 3D NAND-Flash devices with several tens of active layers stacked on top of each other. These structures cannot be tested with low energy ions, due to the large depths of the sensitive volumes alone. For radiation tests ion beams are needed that provide constant LET over the whole stack (> 128 layers). In addition, e.g. in systems in a package, you find several dies stacked on top of each in a single package. To investigate such afore mentioned device types, the beam has to be able to penetrate through all the dies.