Standard Guide for Neutron Irradiation of Unbiased Electronic Components
5.1 Semiconductor devices can be permanently damaged by neutrons (1, 2)6. The effect of such damage on the performance of an electronic component can be determined by measuring the component’s electrical characteristics before and after exposure to fast neutrons in the neutron fluence range of interest. The resulting data can be utilized in the design of electronic circuits that are tolerant of the degradation exhibited by that component.
5.2 This guide provides a method by which the exposure of silicon and gallium arsenide semiconductor devices to neutron irradiation may be performed in a manner that is repeatable and which will allow comparison to be made of data taken at different facilities.
5.3 For semiconductors other than silicon and gallium arsenide, applicable validated 1-MeV damage functions are not available in codified National standards. In the absence of a validated 1-MeV damage function, the non-ionizing energy loss (NIEL) or the displacement kerma, as a function of incident neutron energy, normalized to the response in the 1 MeV energy region, may be used as an approximation. See Practice E722 for a description of the method used to determine the damage functions in Si and GaAs (3).
1.1 This guide strictly applies only to the exposure of unbiased silicon (Si) or gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor components (integrated circuits, transistors, and diodes) to neutron radiation to determine the permanent damage in the components. Validated 1-MeV displacement damage functions codified in National Standards are not currently available for other semiconductor materials.
1.2 Elements of this guide, with the deviations noted, may also be applicable to the exposure of semiconductors comprised of other materials except that validated 1-MeV displacement damage functions codified in National standards are not currently available.
1.3 Only the conditions of exposure are addressed in this guide. The effects of radiation on the test sample should be determined using appropriate electrical test methods.
1.4 This guide addresses those issues and concerns pertaining to irradiations with neutrons.
1.5 System and subsystem exposures and test methods are not included in this guide.
1.6 The range of interest for neutron fluence in displacement damage semiconductor testing range from approximately 109 to 1016 1-MeV n/cm2.
1.7 This guide does not address neutron-induced single or multiple neutron event effects or transient annealing.
1.8 This guide provides an alternative to Test Method 1017, Neutron Displacement Testing, a component of MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD-750.
1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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