Charge Collection Studies on Integrated Circuit Test Structures using Heavy-Ion Microbeams and MEDICI Simulation Calculations

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Ion induced charge collection dynamics within Integrated Circuits (ICs) is important due to the presence of ionizing radiation in the IC environment. As the charge signals defining data states are reduced by voltage and area scaling, the semiconductor device will naturally have a higher susceptibility to ionizing radiation induced effects. The ionizing radiation can lead to the undesired generation and migration of charge within an IC. This can alter, for example, the memory state of a bit, and thereby produce what is called a "soft" error, or Single Event Upset (SEU). Therefore, the response of ICs to natural radiation is ... continued below

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Guo, Baonian May 2000.

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Ion induced charge collection dynamics within Integrated Circuits (ICs) is important due to the presence of ionizing radiation in the IC environment. As the charge signals defining data states are reduced by voltage and area scaling, the semiconductor device will naturally have a higher susceptibility to ionizing radiation induced effects. The ionizing radiation can lead to the undesired generation and migration of charge within an IC. This can alter, for example, the memory state of a bit, and thereby produce what is called a "soft" error, or Single Event Upset (SEU). Therefore, the response of ICs to natural radiation is of great concern for the reliability of future devices. Immunity to soft errors is listed as a requirement in the 1997 National Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors prepared by the Semiconductor Industry Association in the United States. To design more robust devices, it is essential to create and test accurate models of induced charge collection and transport in semiconductor devices. A heavy ion microbeam produced by an accelerator is an ideal tool to study charge collection processes in ICs and to locate the weak nodes and structures for improvement through hardening design. In this dissertation, the Ion Beam Induced Charge Collection (IBICC) technique is utilized to simulate recoil effects of ions in ICs. These silicon or light ion recoils are usually produced by the elastic scattering or inelastic reactions between cosmic neutrons or protons and the lattice atoms in ICs. Specially designed test structures were experimentally studied, using microbeams produced at Sandia National Laboratories. A new technique, Diffusion Time Resolved IBICC, is first proposed in this work to measure the average arrival time of the diffused charge, which can be related to the first moment (or the average time) of the arrival carrier density at the junction. A 2D device simulation tool, the MEDICI code, and heavy-ion microbeams are used to calculate and measure charge collection and relative arrival time on stripe-like test junctions. The MEDICI simulation is in qualitative and sometimes even quantitative agreement with the microbeam measurements. The amount of charge collection and the magnitude of average arrival time for diffused charge collection can be crucial to understanding and mitigating radiation induced circuit malfunctions during normal IC operations.

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  • May 2000

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  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:53 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 4:35 p.m.

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Guo, Baonian. Charge Collection Studies on Integrated Circuit Test Structures using Heavy-Ion Microbeams and MEDICI Simulation Calculations, dissertation, May 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2469/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .