Integrated Circuit Design for Radiation-Hardened Charge-Sensitive Amplifier Survived up to 2 Mrad

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According to the continuous development of metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) fabrication technology, transistors have naturally become more radiation-tolerant through steadily decreasing gate-oxide thickness, increasing the tunneling probability between gate-oxide and channel. Unfortunately, despite this radiation-hardened property of developed transistors, the field of nuclear power plants (NPPs) requires even higher radiation hardness levels. Particularly, total ionizing dose (TID) of approximately 1 Mrad could be required for readout circuitry under severe accident conditions with 100 Mrad around a reactor in-core required. In harsh radiating environments such as NPPs, sensors such as micro-pocket-fission detectors (MPFD) would be a promising technology to be operated for detecting neutrons in reactor cores. For those sensors, readout circuits should be fundamentally placed close to sensing devices for minimizing signal interferences and white noise. Therefore, radiation hardening ability is necessary for the circuits under high radiation environments. This paper presents various integrated circuit designs for a radiation hardened charge-sensitive amplifier (CSA) by using SiGe 130 nm and Si 180 nm fabrication processes with different channel widths and transistor types of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) and bipolar CMOS (BiCMOS). These circuits were tested under gamma -ray environment with Cobalt-60 of high level activity: 490 kCi. The experiment results indicate amplitude degradation of 2.85%-34.3%, fall time increase of 201-1730 ns, as well as a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 0.07-11.6 dB decrease with irradiation dose increase. These results can provide design guidelines for radiation hardening operational amplifiers in terms of transistor sizes and structures.
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SENSORS, v.20, no.10

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NE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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