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Issue 29, 2019
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Impact of proton-induced transmutation doping in semiconductors for space applications

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Abstract

Critical satellite-based electronics can fail due to irradiation with Van Allen belt trapped protons. While nuclear-reaction-induced transmutation damage is typically ignored, a recent study raised the question of its potential importance in explaining anomalous trends in III–V nBn device operation. To investigate this postulation and to generally quantify the importance of transmutation in semiconductors for space applications, transmutation rates occurring in eight prominent semiconductor systems irradiated with typical device qualification protons of 63 MeV and operating in LEO, MEO, and GEO orbits are examined computationally employing FISPACT-II (validated through experiment and GEANT4 simulations). It is found that the transmutation realized in the III–V nBn device is three orders of magnitude less than would have been required to bring experiment into agreement with theory and that, furthermore, the total transmuted elemental concentrations never exceed 1010 cm−3 in any semiconductor at the end of 10 years of operation in any orbit considered. Thus, the effect of nuclear transmutation can be safely neglected in predicting modern device operation in orbit.

Graphical abstract: Impact of proton-induced transmutation doping in semiconductors for space applications

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
05 Jun 2019
Accepted
25 Jun 2019
First published
27 Jun 2019

This article is Open Access

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019,7, 8905-8914
Article type
Paper

Impact of proton-induced transmutation doping in semiconductors for space applications

J. V. Logan, M. P. Short, P. T. Webster, C. P. Morath and E. H. Steenbergen, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, 7, 8905
DOI: 10.1039/C9TC02995H

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