Timeline of Power MOSFET Single Event Burnout Papers

A timeline of citations, abstracts, and comments on papers supporting
Power MOSFET Single Event Burnout

Introduction to Single Event Burnout Papers

Although Single Event Burnout (SEB) is the title of these abstracts they apply equally well to the other destructive failure mode of power devices caused by cosmic rays, Single Event Gate Rupture (SEGR). The papers also touch on related topics such as Single Event Gate Damage (SEGD), Single Event Effects (SEE), Single Event Upset (SEU), and other damaging effects to high power and high voltage devices caused by galactic and terrestrial cosmic rays.

Originally I wrote a hypertext on single event burnout in 1992 and in this update has brought the material up to August 2005. The original papers were ordered as I referenced them in the hypertext - the common practice. I think this timeline has more value as an instructional tool. After reading the Power MOSFET Single Event Burnout Problem/Solution page, reading the abstracts in historical order is somewhat boring, but provides a powerful reinforcement and augmentation to that material. I especially like seeing how the accepted knowledge varies over time, sometimes completely reversing previous hypothesis as to what we know.

I have been involved in designing radiation hardened power supplies since 1960 when very little was known or published about the craft. Construction of this timeline has brought back many memories, as I personally knew and worked with some of the authors.

Single Event Burnout Papers

[SEVE84A] Severns, Rudy, Power MOSFETs and Radiation Environments, pp. 5-101 to 5-108 in MOSPOWER Applications Handbook, edited by Rudy Severns and Jack Armijos, Siliconix, Santa Clara, CA, 1984. [Paper originally published as Siliconix Application Note TA84-3)

Many applications for power MOSFETs require operation in high radiation environments. These applications are usually for space or military equipment although some civilian applications at particle accelerators, nuclear power plants, medical facilities, and industrial equipment also exist. Like any semiconductor device, the electrical characteristics of a MOSFET will be altered if it is exposed to sufficiently high levels of radiation. The nature of the changes will depend on the type, intensity, and duration of the radiation. With proper circuit design, MOSFETs can operate successfully at very high levels of irradiation. This paper will provide the basic information required for successful power MOSFET design. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT - First paragraph of paper.]

This is an excellent summary of power MOSFET performance in radiation environment before the discovery of Single Even Burnout, which is not mentioned in the paper. The book is in most power supply designers personal or company library and can be purchase second hand (often for less than $5). [JF ABSTRACT]

[WROB85A] Wrobel, T.F., F. N. Coopage, and A.J. Smith, Current-Induced Avalanche in Epitaxial Structures," IEEE Trans. on Nuclear Sciences. Vol. NS-32, No. 6, pp. 3991-3995, Dec. 1985 Paper not yet available in Xplore (08/2005).

Referring to this paper, [KESH92A] states "The burnout mechanism of the power MOSFET irradiated by ionizing radiation was postulated by T. Wrobel in 1985." [JF]

[MESS86A] Messenger, George C., and Milton S. Ash, The Effects of Radiation on Electronic Systems, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1986.

Written for those whose interests include the effects of radiation on electronic systems. These are practitioner professionals, the interested generalist, as well as the neophyte and student for whom problems are given at the end of the first nine chapters for self-study or class work.

Topics include: Electronic properties of semiconductors, field equations, p-n junction devices, nuclear environments, neutron damage effects, gamma-ray damage effects, dose-rate effects, electromagnetic pulse, dosimetry, component and circuit hardness design, system hardness design, statistical aspects of hardness design, and hardness assurance.

Section 7.9, Single Event Upset, pp. 296-315, covers single event upset in logic and memory devices. I don't believe Single Event Burnout is mentioned, but don't have a copy available to check. [JF]

[WASK87A] Waskiewicz, A. E., J. W. Groninger, and V. Strahan, Burnout of Power MOS Transistors with Heavy Ions of Californium-252, IEEE Trans. Nuc. Sci., NS-33, pp. 1710-1713, Dec. 1987. Paper not yet available in Xplore (08/2005).

Experiments have been conducted to determine the burnout susceptibility of power MOSFET devices exposed to heavy ions from a Californium-252 source. This report documents the results of the first single event burnout tests performed on n-channel enhancement mode power MOSFETs. Presented are, the test method, test results, a description of an observed latched current and a discussion of a possible failure mechanism. The test results include the observed dependence upon applied drain to source bias and variation in burnout susceptibility for various manufactures of power MOSFETs. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT]

I believe this was the first public reporting of actual Single Event Burnout in Power MOSFETs from radiation. Some references [TITUS89A] give the year as 1986. I worked with one of the the authors at this time and for years later, Virge Strahan, who was the radiation hardening engineer on the circuits I designed. Below are some of the notes I took from a pre-publication version of the source at that time. [JF]

"Californium fission fragments have a LET in silicon of between 40 and 45 MeV/mg/cm2. 50% of the energy is absorbed in 14 microns and 90% in 16 microns. The estimated active depth of the tested devices was estimated at 15 microns."

"Devices tested include JEDEC versions of IRF150 (2N6764) (100 V, 0.055 ohm) and IRF250 (2N6766) (200 V, 0.085 ohm) parts from four manufacturers. All devices failed at less than their BVdss rating. 100 V devices failed as low as 54 V. 200 V devices failed as low as 140 V. There was variability with devices of the same type and variability between manufacturers. Gates were all biased at -10 V."

"The suggested failure mechanism was forward biasing and forward biased secondary breakdown of the parasitic npn transistor. Conditions for this to occur are:

  1. The charge collected from the particle ionization track must generate sufficient voltage to forward bias the base-emitter junction of the bipolar parasitic transistor. The condition implies that the ion track be in a location to cause lateral current flow across the FET body and that the critical charge required to cause turn-on not be shared with adjacent transistors.
  2. The applied drain source voltage must be greater than the collector-emitter breakdown voltage of the forward biased parasitic transistor (BVceo).
  3. The increased current must not be limited to a value which prevents excessive power dissipation in the MOSFET."

[OBER87A] Oberg, L., Wert, J.L., First Nondestructive Measurements of Power MOSFET Single Event Burnout Cross Sections, IEEE Trns. Nucl. Sci., Vol NS-34, No. 6, pp. 1736-1741. December 1987. Paper not yet available in Xplore (08/2005).

[HOHL87A] Hohl, Jakob H., and Kenneth F. Galloway, Analytical Model for Single Event Burnout of Power MOSFETS, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sc., Vol NS-34, No .6, December 1987, pp. 1275-1280. Paper not yet available in Xplore (08/2005).

The processes causing single event burnout in power MOSFETs are modeled analytically, describing the evolution of the plasma-filament from an ion traversing the structure and the processes constituting the triggering mechanisms of second breakdown. Analytically tractable models are achieved by employing simplifying approximations in common use in established semiconductor device theory, and by using initial conditions and parameters typical for simulations of single event upset phenomena. Comparative simplicity and tractability is favored over accuracy to gain lucid relationships between pertinent parameters, which can guide device design and optimization, aid the interpretation of results from simulation and experiment, and help in the development of simulation software. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [JF]

[FISC87A] Fischer, Thomas A., Heavy-Ion-Induced, Gate Rupture in Power MOSFETs, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., Vol. NS-34, No. 6, December 1987, pp. 1786-1791. Paper not yet available (08/2005) in Xplore [JF]

A new, heavy-ion induced, burnout mechanism has been experimentally observed in power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). This mechanism occurs when a heavy, charged particle passes through the gate oxide region of n- or p-channel devices having sufficient gate-to-source or gate-to-drain bias. The gate rupture leads to significant permanent degradation of the device. A proposed failure mechanism is discussed and experimentally verified. In addition, the absolute immunity of p-channel devices to heavy-ion-induced, semiconductor burnout is demonstrated and discussed along with new, non-destructive burnout testing methods. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT]

Element LET
  Cf-252 42 11-13
220 Br-81 40 40
330 Au-197 83 31

N-channel devices tested included Mot N08-B4 (80 V), 2N6661 (90 V), IRFF130 (100 V), IRFF230 (200 V), and Motorola N50 (500 V).

P-Channel devices tested included Mot P08 (80 V), Mot P50 (500 V), IRFF9130 (100 V) and IRFF9230 (200 V).

"In severe, heavy-ion irradiation environments (such as exposure to 330 MeV gold ions) it is possible for gate rupture to occur below the rated drain and/or gate voltages of both n- and p-channel MOSFETs. It is possible to avoid this failure mechanism by keeping the electric field in the oxide below 4 MV/cm. This damage mechanism is of no consequence in natural space environments since the electric field required for gate rupture, with ions like iron, is very close to the dielectric strength of good oxides." p. 1791.

"P-channel devices have been found to be immune to heavy-ion-induced, semiconductor burnout. Every p-channel device tested was discovered to handle Br irradiation (LET = 40 MeV/(mg/cm2)), even when biased into breakdown. In contrast, the complimentary, n-channel devices burn out between 22% and 90% of the measured breakdown voltage when irradiated with Br ions. The level of immunity displayed by the p-channel devices is more than sufficient for most space environments since Br irradiation constitutes a severe over test for natural space environments, where iron is the most likely of the heaviest ions." p. 1791.

"...normal incident irradiation is a worst case method for determining the minimum failure-threshold voltage for heavy ion-induced semiconductor burnout." p. 1786

"Early in the testing it was discovered that each DUT had a characteristic drain-to-source voltage below which semiconductor burnout could not be initiated." p. 1787

"Results suggest that one should be particularly careful when exploring the possibilities of reducing gate oxide thickness to improve total dose hardness." p. 1790

[HOHL89A] Hohl, J.H.; Johnnson, G.H.; Features of the triggering mechanism for single event burnout of power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 36, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec. 1989 Page(s):2260 - 2266

The feedback mechanism leading to second breakdown and burnout in a power MOSFET is reviewed, and critical device design parameters are identified and chosen with regard to electrical specifications. Assuming typical parameters, the avalanching conditions in the space-charge region of the collector current densities. It is shown that the space charge associated with the collector current density modifies the electric field profile so that with increasing collector current, the avalanche multiplication factor rises in a peak, then declines to a valley, and eventually rises monotonically. This behavior can be explained in simple terms and could lead to a stable avalanching condition with a current density too low to damage the structure. This condition can be initiated by heavy ions with energies below a certain threshold. Ion energies beyond the threshold drive the avalanching process into the region of monotonic increase of the avalanche multiplication factor and lead to runaway and burnout. The threshold for runaway varies widely with changing configurations of the p+-plug and the p-body region, suggesting the possibility of configurations that are immune to burnout. Threshold currents in a typical hex cell are assessed. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 7 pages, 11 figures, 9+ equations, 6 references.

[TITU89A] Titus, J.L.; Jamiolkowski, L.S.; Wheatley, C.F.; Development of cosmic ray hardened power MOSFET's, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 36, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec. 1989 Page(s):2375 - 2382

Developmental power DMOS (double-diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor) FETs were thoroughly characterized in a simulated cosmic-ray environment using heavy ions at the Brookhaven National Laboratory's tandem Van de Graaff accelerator facility. The primary failure mode encountered on FETs in this environment was susceptibility to single-event burnout. Burnout of the power DMOS FET was catastrophic. Another failure mode was single-event gate rupture. Although gate rupture is not as severe as burnout, its long-term effects are not known. Single-event gate rupture causes performance degradation due to increased gate leakage current. An increase in current can pose serious problems for applications that cannot compensate for the added performance degradation. Long-term reliability of the gate oxide may be affected, resulting in premature device failure. Numerous processing lots were fabricated to verify experimentally that each failure mode could be successfully minimized. Test results have shown that an n-channel, 150-V DMOS FET survived exposures to ions with linear energy transfers up to 80 MeV-cm2/mg. Hardening approaches are discussed, including their advantages and disadvantages in relation to the FET's performance. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 4 figures, 5 references, 3 tables, 0 equations.

[MA__89A] Ma, T. P., and Paul V. Dressendorfer, Ionizing Radiation Effects in MOS Devices and Circuits, John Wiley & Sons, 1989.

Section 9.3.4, Estimation of Single-Event Error Rates, pp. 528-533, describes the methods and available computer programs for calculating single event error rates in logic and memory circuits. Computer programs described include CRIER (Cosmic Ray Induced Error Rate), CRUP (Cosmic Ray Upset Program), and CREME (Cosmic Ray Effects on Micro-Electronics)

"The number of single-event-induced upsets sustained by a particular part in a given environment depends on two principle factors: the threshold for upsets (usually given as the critical charge or critical LET) and the total device volume sensitive to ion interactions." p. 528.

"Devices that cannot be upset by iron at its maximum LET (or by its experimentally convenient cousin, krypton) are generally referred to as 'single-event immune'...often applied to RAM devices that can be projected to show fewer than 10 E-10 errors / bit-day in the 'Adams 90% worst-case environment." p. 533.

[WASK90A] Waskiewicz, A. E., and J. W. Groninger, Burnout Thresholds and Cross Section of Power MOS Transistors with Heavy Ions, Defense Nuclear Agency DNA-MIPR-88-507, February 1990.

Power MOSFET heavy ion-induced Single Event Burnout tests were performed jointly by representatives of the Aerospace Corporation, NASA Goddard, NWSC Crane, and Rockwell International. For the most part, presented are the results of the burnout threshold and cross section characterizations performed on n-channel power MOSFETs, however a small amount of p-channel data is also included. In addition, data on the effect of temperature, gate bias, total dose, and inductive loading on MOSFET Single Event Burnout sensitivity is proffered. At the time of the test effort, "radiation hardened" devices were being developed by International Rectifier and RCA/GE. The heavy-ion-induced burnout tests results on available samples of these devices are also incorporated for comparison to commercial and JEDEC versions tested. (DD Form 1473 Abstract)

[TITU91A] Titus, J.L.; Johnson, G.H.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Galloway, K.F.; Single-event burnout of power bipolar junction transistors, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 38, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1991 Page(s):1315 - 1322

Experimental evidence of single-event burnout of power bipolar junction transistor (BJTs) is reported for the first time. Several commercial power BJTs were characterized in a simulated cosmic ray environment using mono-energetic ions at the tandem Van de Graaff accelerator facility at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Most of the device types exposed to this simulated environment exhibited burnout behavior. The experimental technique, data, and results are presented, while a qualitative model is used to help explain those results and trends observed in this experiment. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 12 figures, 3 tables, 7 equations, 13 references.

"Single-event burnout of power BJTs biased lower than their measured BVceo has been experimentally verified and reported for the first time." Up until this time it was thought that radiation would not trigger secondary breakdown in bipolar junction transistors. This added another concern for circuit designers to the list. [JF ABSTRACT]

[CALV91A] Calvel, P.; Peyrotte, C.; Baiget, A.; Stassinopoulos, E.G.; Comparison of experimental measurements of power MOSFET SEBs in dynamic and static modes, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 38, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1991 Page(s):1310 - 1314.

A study to determine the Single Event Burnout (SEB) sensitivity for burnout of IRF-150 Power MOSFETs in both static and dynamic modes in terms of LET threshold and cross section is described. The dynamic tests were conducted with a power converter which was designed for actual space application. The results were compared with static measurements which were made during the exposure to the heavy ions. The data showed that the dynamic mode was less sensitive than the static by two orders of magnitude in cross section. It was also observed that ions with a range less than 30 microns did not produce destructive burnout in the dynamic mode even when their LET exceeded the threshold value. The extent of physical MOSFET damage in the destructive, dynamic tests appeared to correlate with the ion LET and source-drain voltage. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 5 pages, 5+ figures, 2 tables, 7 references.

The findings of reduced sensitivity of the dynamic circuit is in conflict with the findings of TAST92A. This may be explained by the differences in the circuits. This paper's circuit is a boost converter that limits the breakdown current to the load current. The sensitivity of this circuit would be a function of the current through the inductor during the test (the input current) and the MOSFET would be protected by the inductor from secondary breakdown destruction at light loads. No information on the load current is provided in the paper and this places its conclusion on the sensitivity of the dynamic circuit in question. Switching frequency was 63kHz. The authors noted that using a snubber circuit reduced SEB and speculate that as the frequency is lowered the 2 orders of magnitude improvement in SEB might approach the static test results. Tastet's paper's circuit is a parallel converter with no current limit. [JF ABSTRACT]

Test environments were:

Element LET
265 Cu 29 41
150 Br 39 22
285 Br 37 37
316 Ag 53 33
190 I 57 22
320 I 60 31
345 Au 82 28

[TAST92A] Tastet, P. and J. Garnier, Heavy Ion Sensitivity of Power MOSFETs, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sc., Vol NS-39, 1992, pp. 357-361.

Power Mosfets are now widely used in Space applications. Their electrical characteristics: high switching capability, easy gate control, low losses, allow large gain in efficiency and mass of on-board power supplies. However, their heavy ions sensitivity may restrict their application. In order to quantify this sensitivity, we have characterized two technologies (standard and rad-hard) under different accelerators. We have performed two types of experiment:
- irradiation of the Mosfet in the off-state, static mode,
- irradiation of the Mosfet in a switching converter.   [AUTHOR ABSTRACT]

The findings of no difference between dynamic and static operation are in conflict with [CALV91A]. This may be partly explained by the differences in the circuits. This paper's circuit is a 100kHz 1A push-pull converter with no current limit on breakdown current while Calvel's circuit is a boost converter that limits the breakdown current to the load current. [JF ABSTRACT]

Test environment
Element LET
265 Ni 42
285 Br 37 37
320 I 60 31
179 Ni 27 31
4012 Xe 32.5 385
1844 Xe 45.9 140
844 Xe 57.9 59
2562 Kr 466
1109 Kr 26.5 145
470 Xe 37 51

Devices tested: IRF150 IRF250 IRH7150 IRFH7250 IRH450

"The tests in static mode on the standard technology have shown that above 50% of the rated voltage of the power Mosfet (100 volts and 200 volts) these parts can be destroyed by a heavy ion. For applications needing higher voltages, the radiation tolerant parts should be used."

"We have seen that the Linear Energy Transfer is not the right parameter to allow a complete characterization. For this reason, models using only LET spectrum are not applicable to event rate prediction of power Mosfets in Space. The energy and range of the particles should be taken into account."

"The irradiation of our push-pull converter has not led to an improvement of Mosfet behavior under heavy ions."

[NICH92A] Nichols, Donald K., James R. Coss, and Kenneth P. McCarty, Single Event Gate Rupture in Commercial Power HEXFETs, To be published in IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., Vol. 39, No. 6, December 1992. This article did not appear in the Dec 1992 Transactions. The data may have been published in "Single Event Gate Rupture in Commercial Power MOSFETs" by the same authors at the Second European Conference on Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems, 13-16 Sept. 1993 Pages 462-467.

"Rad-hard" (thin oxide) power HEXFETs were irradiated with heavy ions in order to assess their possible failure from either single event gate rupture (SEGR) or single event burnout (SEB). The data is compared with theory. (Author Abstract)

Test environments:
Brookhaven National Laboratory Van de Graaff: Br, Fe
U.C. Berkeley 88-inch cyclotron: Kr, Ar, Ne

Devices tested:

Int. Rect. IRH7150 BV=100 V n-channel
Int. Rect. IRH7250 BV=200 V n-channel
Int. Rect. FRM9140 BV=100 V p-channel
Int. Rect. FRM9240 BV=200 V p-channel
Harris FRM140D1 BV=100 V p-channel
Harris FRM240D1 BV=200 V p-channel
Harris FRM9140 BV=100 V p-channel
Harris FRM9240 BV=200 V p-channel

"The fact that high angle beams are less damaging than a normally incident beam implies that one will never need to test for higher LET ions than the Fe/Ni group--the highest LET ions present in significant quantities in the interplanetary cosmic ray environment. This conclusion is fundamentally different from that adopted for other SEE events where high angle beams do induce more damage."

[KUBO92A] Kuboyama, S.; Matsuda, S.; Kanno, T.; Ishii, T.; Mechanism for single-event burnout of power MOSFETs and its characterization technique, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 39, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec. 1992 Page(s):1698 - 1703

A novel characterization technique for single event burnout (SEB) of power MOSFETs was developed. The technique is based on a pulse-height analyzer system for charge collection measurement with a modified charge-sensitive amplifier which has a very wide dynamic range. The data obtained by this technique give detailed information about the SEB mechanism of power MOSFETs. The experimental data suggested a position-independent charge collection mechanism along an ion track, and a new parameter for SEB hardness was proposed. 6 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables, 0 equations, 8 references.

[STASS92A] Stassinopoulos, E.G.; Brucker, G.J.; Calvel, P.; Baiget, A.; Peyrotte, C.; Gaillard, R.; Charge generation by heavy ions in power MOSFETs, burnout space predictions and dynamic SEB sensitivity, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 39, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec. 1992 Page(s):1704 - 1711

The transport, energy loss, and charge production of heavy ions in the sensitive regions of IRF 150 power MOSFETs are described. The dependence and variation of transport parameters with ion type and energy relative to the requirements for single event burnout in this part type are discussed. Test data taken with this power MOSFET are used together with analyses by means of a computer code of the ion energy loss and charge production in the device to establish criteria for burnout and parameters for space predictions. These parameters are then used in an application to predict burnout rates in a geostationary orbit for power converters operating in a dynamic mode. Comparisons of rates for different geometries in simulating SEU (single event upset) sensitive volumes are presented. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 11 figures, 4 tables, 19 references.

The IEEE Xplore PDF appears to be missing two pages, 1709-1710, which contains the conclusion and puts the count of figures and tables in doubt. The paper contains optical plan and scanning electronic microscope (SEM) cross-section photographs of damage done by single-event-burnout. [JF ABSTRACT]

[JOHN92A] Johnson, G.H.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Galloway, K.F.; Koga, R.; Temperature dependence of single-event burnout in n-channel power MOSFETs [for space application], Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 39, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec. 1992 Page(s):1605 - 1612

The temperature dependence of single-event burnout (SEB) in n-channel power MOSFETs is investigated experimentally and analytically. Experimental data are presented which indicate that the SEB susceptibility of the power MOSFET decreases with increasing temperature. A previously reported analytical model that describes the SEB mechanism is updated to include temperature variations. This model is shown to agree with the experimental trends. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 10 figures, 0 tables, 1 equation, 9 references.

[KESH92A] Keshavarz, A.A., Fischer, T.A., Improving the radiation burn-out susceptibility of N-channel powerMOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume: 39, Issue: 6, Part 1-2, On page(s): 1943-1946, Dec 1992, Page(s):1943 - 1946.

Computer simulation was used to calculate the dose-rate thresholds of several different power MOSFET structures. Computational results indicate that significant improvements in radiation tolerance and burnout of the device are possible by reducing the lateral size of the power MOSFET unit cell or by using a lower emitter injection efficiency for the bipolar structure. Modification of some other factors, such as the base minority carrier lifetime or the epi/substrate interface shape, shows some minor improvements in device radiation tolerance. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 4 pages, 4 figures, 3 equations, 6 references.

[JOHN93A] Johnson, G.H.; Hohl, J.H.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Galloway, K.F.; Simulating single-event burnout of n-channel power MOSFET's, Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on Volume 40, Issue 5, May 1993 Page(s):1001 - 1008 [Abstract and paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[ROUB93A] Roubaud, F.; Dachs, C.; Palau, J.-M.; Gasiot, J.; Tastet, P.; Experimental and 2D simulation study of the single-event burnout in N-channel power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 40, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec 1993 Page(s):1952 - 1958

The use of the 2D simulator MEDICI as a tool for single event burnout (SEB) comprehension is investigated. Simulation results are compared to experimental currents induced in an N channel power MOSFET by the ions from a 252Cf source. Current measurements have been carried out using a specially designed circuit. Simulations make it possible to analyze separately the effects of the ion impact and the electrical environment parameters on the SEB phenomenon. Burnout sensitivity is found to be increased by increasing supply voltage and ion linear energy transfer (LET), and by decreasing load charge. These electrical tendencies are confirmed by experiments. Burnout sensitivity is also found to be sensitive to the ion impact position. The current shape variations for given electrical parameters can be related to LET or ion impact position changes. However, some experimental current shapes are not reproduced by simulations. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 7 pages, 7 figures, 1 table, 9 references. Two pages missing in IEEE Xplore pdf download placing in doubt the count of figures and tables. [JF]

[KUBO93A] Kuboyama, S.; Matsuda, S.; Nakajima, M.; Kanno, T.; Ishii, T.; Numerical analysis of single event burnout of power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 40, Issue 6, Part 1-2, Dec 1993 Page(s):1872 - 1879

[ROUB93B] Roubaud, F.; Dachs, C.; Palau, J.-M.; Gasiot, J.; Tastet, P.; Use of 2D simulations to study parameters influence on SEB occurrence in n-channel MOSFETs, Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems, 1993.,RADECS 93., Second European Conference on 13-16 Sept. 1993 Page(s):446 - 451 [Abstract and paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[NICH93A] Nichols, D.K.; Coss, J.R.; McCarty, K.P.; Single event gate rupture in commercial power MOSFETs, Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems, 1993.,RADECS 93., Second European Conference on 13-16 Sept. 1993 Page(s):462 - 467 [Abstract and paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[JOHN93A] Johnson, G.H.; Brews, J.R.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Galloway, K.F.; Analysis of the time-dependent turn-on mechanism for single-event burnout of n-channel power MOSFETs, Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems, 1993.,RADECS 93., Second European Conference on 13-16 Sept. 1993 Page(s):441 - 445 [Abstract and paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[DACH94A] Dachs, C.; Roubaud, F.; Palau, J.-M.; Bruguier, G.; Gasiot, J.; Tastet, P.; Evidence of the ion's impact position effect on SEB in N-channel power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 41, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec 1994 Page(s):2167 - 2171

Triggering of Single Event Burnout (SEB) in Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) is studied by means of experiments and simulations based on real structures. Conditions for destructive and nondestructive events are investigated through current duration observations. The effect of the ion's impact position is experimentally pointed out. Finally, further investigation with 2D MEDICI simulations show that the different regions of the MOSFET cell indeed exhibit different sensitivity with respect to burnout triggering. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 5 pages, 9 figures, 3 tables, 9 references.

[KUBO94A] Kuboyama, S.; Matsuda, S.; Kanno, T.; Hirose, T.; Single event burnout of power MOSFETs caused by nuclear reactions with heavy ions, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 41, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec 1994 Page(s):2210 - 2215

Single event burnout (SEB) phenomenon of power MOSFETs caused by nuclear reactions with incident heavy ions has been probed experimentally. 520 MeV Kr and 3536 MeV Xe ions having the same LET were used as incident ions for the experiment. The observed SEB threshold voltage was quite different for both ions. Detailed analysis revealed that the Xe ions can produce excess charge as a result of nuclear reactions with Si atoms. The result suggests that usual SEB immunity test as a function of LET is not adequate for high voltage devices that have much larger sensitive volume. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 12 figures, 2 tables, 10 references.

[DACH95A] Dachs, C.; Roubaud, F.; Palau, J.-M.; Bruguier, G.; Gasiot, J.; Tastet, P.; Calvett, M.-C.; Calvel, P.; Simulation aided hardening of N-channel power MOSFETs to prevent single event burnout, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 42, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1995 Page(s):1935 - 1939

2D MEDICI simulator is used to investigate hardening solutions to single-event burnout (SEE). SEE parametric dependencies such as carrier lifetime reduction, base enlargement, and emitter doping decrease have been verified and a p+ plug modification approach for SEE hardening of power MOSFETs is validated with simulations on actual device structures. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 5 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables, 13 references

[DACH95B] Dachs, C.; Roubaud, F.; Palau, J.-M.; Bruguier, G.; Gasiot, J.; Calvet, M.-C.; Calvel, P.; Tastet, P.; Evidence of the sensitivity inhomogeneity of power MOSFETs' cells to single event burnout, Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems, 1995. RADECS 95., Third European Conference on 18-22 Sept. 1995 Page(s):387 - 390 [Abstract and paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[ALLE96A] Allenspach, M.; Dachs, C.; Johnson, G.H.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Lorfevre, E.; Palau, J.M.; Brews, J.R.; Galloway, K.F.; Titus, J.L.; Wheatley, C.F.; SEGR and SEB in n-channel power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1996 Page(s):2927 - 2931

For particular bias conditions, it is shown that a device can fail due to either single-event gate rupture (SEGR) or to single-event burnout (SEB). The likelihood of triggering SEGR is shown to be dependent on the ion impact position. Hardening techniques are suggested. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 5 pages, 8 figures, 13 references.

[OBER96A] Oberg, D.L.; Wert, J.L.; Normand, E.; Majewski, P.P.; Wender, S.A.; First observations of power MOSFET burnout with high energy neutrons, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1996 Page(s):2913 - 2920

Single event burnout was seen in power MOSFETs exposed to high energy neutrons. Devices with rated voltage ≥ 400 volts exhibited burnout at substantially less than the rated voltage. Tests with high energy protons gave similar results. Burnout was also seen in limited tests with lower energy protons and neutrons. Correlations with heavy-ion data are discussed. Accelerator proton data gave favorable comparisons with burnout rates measured on the APEX spacecraft. Implications for burnout at lower altitudes are also discussed. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 9 figures, 4 tables, 30 references.

In avionics systems at 40,000 ft, the SEB failure rate for 400 V devices derated 75% is 9 E-5 failures per device-day and 2 E-3 failures per device-day for similarly derated 500 V devices. Failure rates at ground level are about 1/300 of this. Avionics and ground level SEB failures are a consideration only in higher voltage devices, but for 400 V and 500 V devices, considerations of derating to minimize SEB failures should be considered in avionic and ground level applications. [JF ABSTRACT].

[KOGA96A] Koga, R.; Single-event effect ground test issues, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 2, Part 1, April 1996 Page(s):661 - 670

Ground-based single event effect (SEE) testing of microcircuits permits characterization of device susceptibility to various radiation induced disturbances, including: (1) single event upset (SEU) and single event latchup (SEL) in digital microcircuits; (2) single event gate rupture (SEGR), and single event burnout (SEB) in power transistors; and (3) bit errors in photonic devices. These characterizations can then be used to generate predictions of device performance in the space radiation environment. This paper provides a general overview of ground-based SEE testing and examines in critical depth several underlying conceptual constructs relevant to the conduct of such tests and to the proper interpretation of results. These more traditional issues are contrasted with emerging concerns related to the testing of modern, advanced microcircuits. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 10 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables, 4 equations, 46 references.

[JOHN96A] Johnson, G.H.; Palau, J.M.; Dachs, C.; Galloway, K.F.; Schrimpf, R.D.; A review of the techniques used for modeling single-event effects in power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 2, Part 1, April 1996 Page(s):546 - 560

Heavy ions can trigger catastrophic failure modes in power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Single-event effects (SEE), namely, single-event burnout (SEB), and single-event gate rupture (SEGR), of power MOSFETs are catastrophic failure mechanisms that are initiated by the passage of a heavy ion through the device structure. Various analytical, semi-analytical, and simulation models have been developed to help explain these phenomena. This paper presents a review of these models and explains their merits and limitations. New results are included to illustrate the approaches. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 15 pages, 23 figures, 5 equations, 40 references.

Although the main thrust of this paper is the review of models and simulation, the introduction provide a good description of single-event-burnout (SEB) and single event gate rupture (SEGR). [JF ABSTRACT]

[TITU96A] Titus, J.L.; Wheatley, C.F.; Experimental studies of single-event gate rupture and burnout in vertical power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 2, Part 1, April 1996 Page(s):533 - 545

Numerous studies have revealed that vertical power MOSFETs are susceptible to single-event burnout (SEB) and single-event gate rupture (SEGR), resulting in degraded performance or even catastrophic failure when operated in a cosmic-ray environment like space. This paper summarizes many of those experimental studies and examines the problems, test methodologies, and experimental results. Previously unavailable information on SEGR is also provided. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 13 pages, 23 figures, 1 table, 3 equations,47 references.

A good description of SEB and SEGR. The large number of references pretty much covers the published literature on the subject up to 1995. [JF ABSTRACT]

[ADOL96A] Adolphsen, J.W.; Barth, J.L.; Gee, G.B.; First observation of proton induced power MOSFET burnout in space: the CRUX experiment on APEX, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 43, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1996 Page(s):2921 - 2926

Ground testing has shown that power MOSFETs are susceptible to burnout when irradiated with heavy ions and protons. Satellite data from the Cosmic Ray Upset Experiment (CRUX) demonstrate that single event burnouts (SEBs) on 100-volt and 200-volt power MOSFETs can and do occur in space. Few SEBs occurred on the 100-volt devices, all at L1<3. The 200-volt devices experienced many SEBs at L<3 when drain-to-source voltage (VD-S) was greater than 85% of maximum rated voltage. CRUX flight lot devices were ground tested with protons. The SEB rates calculated with the cross-sections from the ground tests show close agreement with the measured rates. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables, 12 references.

[NORM97A] Normand, E.; Wert, J.L.; Oberg, D.L.; Majewski, P.R.; Voss, P.; Wender, S.A.; Neutron-induced single event burnout in high voltage electronics, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 44, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1997 Page(s):2358 - 2366

Energetic neutrons with an atmospheric neutron spectrum, which were demonstrated to induce single event burnout in power MOSFETs, have been shown to induce burnout in high voltage (>3000 V) electronics when operated at voltages as low as 50% of rated voltage. The laboratory failure rates correlate well with field failure rates measured in Europe. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 9 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables, 22 references.

Diodes rated above 2,000 volts appear to have SEB rates correlated to the general failure rate of the device when used above a 50 % derating. The paper speculates that diodes, thyristors, power MOSFETS and other devices operating above 2,000 V will be subject to burnout from atmospheric neutrons. This will impact programs such as the Navy's Power Electronic Building Block(PEBB) program as well as electric car programs. [JF ABSTRACT]

[LORF97A] Lorfevre, E.; Sudre, C.; Dachs, C.; Detcheverry, C.; Palau, J.-M.; Gasiot, J.; Calvet, M.-C.; Garnier, J.; Ecoffet, R.; SEB occurrence in a VIP: influence of the epi-substrate junction, Radiation and Its Effects on Components and Systems, 1997. RADECS 97. Fourth European Conference on 15-19 Sept. 1997 Page(s):557 - 560

Heavy ion induced burnout is reported, for the first time, in different parts of a VIP. A 2D-simulation investigation allows a better understanding of this phenomenon and shows the importance of the epi-substrate junction parameters in the SEB occurrence. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 4 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables, 8 references.

Vertical Intelligent Power (VIP) is a technology that incorporates power and driver circuitry on the same chip. Simulation and test show SEB in the devices, with the control structures being more sensitive to SEB than the power structures. Suggestions are made to improve the SEB performance of the control structures. [JF ABSTRACT]

[KUBO98A] Kuboyama, S.; Sugimoto, K.; Shugyo, S.; Matsuda, S.; Hirao, T.; Single-event burnout of epitaxial bipolar transistors, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 45, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 1998 Page(s):2527 - 2533

Single-Event Burnout (SEB) of bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) has been observed nondestructively. It was revealed that all the NPN BJTs, including small signal transistors, with thinner epitaxial layers were inherently susceptible to the SEB phenomenon. It was demonstrated that several design parameters of BJTs were responsible for SEB susceptibility. Additionally, destructive and nondestructive modes of SEB were identified. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 7 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables, 4 equations, 9 references.

SEB in epitaxial (as opposed to diffused) npn BJTs does not involve avalanche multiplication as in power MOSFETs, but is due to other mechanisms, not fully understood. [JF ABSTRACT]

[COSS98A] Coss, J.R.; Swift, G.M.; Selva, L.E.; Titus, J.L.; Normand, E.; Oberg, D.L.; Wert, J.L.; Compendium of single event failures in power MOSFETs, Radiation Effects Data Workshop, 1998. IEEE 24 July 1998 Page(s):15 - 38

This compendium of SEGR and SEB data organizes results from several laboratories comparing failure thresholds for several different manufacturers and technologies. The results of this compendium are aimed at the designer to show the possible variations between manufacturers and processes. The compendium incorporates previously published data with the most recent data obtained from various sources. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] Paper not available at this time for my review. [JF ABSTRACT]

[MUSS99A] Musseau, O.; Torres, A.; Campbell, A.B.; Knudson, A.R.; Buchner, S.; Fischer, B.; Schlogl, M.; Briand, P.; Medium-energy heavy-ion single-event-burnout imaging of power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 46, Issue 6, Dec. 1999 Page(s):1415 - 1420

We present the first experimental determination of the SEB sensitive area in a power MOSFET irradiated with a high-LET heavy-ion microbeam. We used a spectroscopy technique to perform coincident measurements of the charge collected in both source and drain junctions together, with a nondestructive technique (current limitation). The resulting charge collection images are related to the physical structure of the individual cells. These experimental data reveal the complex 3-dimensional behavior of a real structure, which can not easily be simulated using available tools. As the drain voltage is increased, the onset of burnout is reached, characterized by a sudden change in the charge collection image. "Hot spots" are observed where the collected charge reaches its maximum value. Those spots, due to burnout triggering events, correspond to areas where the silicon is degraded through thermal effects along a single ion track. This direct observation of SEB sensitive areas as applications for, either device hardening, by modifying doping profiles or layout of the cells, or for code calibration and device simulation. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 10 figures, 14 references.

[KOGA99A] Koga, R.; Crain, S.H.; Crawford, K.B.; Yu, P.; Gordon, M.J.; Single event burnout sensitivity of embedded field effect transistors, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 46, Issue 6, Dec. 1999 Page(s):1395 - 1402

Observations of single event burnout (SEB) in embedded field effect transistors are reported. Both SEB and other single event effects are presented for several pulse width modulation and high frequency devices. The microscope has been employed to locate and to investigate the damaged areas. A model of the damage mechanism based on the results so obtained is described. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 20 figures, 2 tables, 11 references.

[JINH99A] Jinhong Liu; Schrimpf, R.D.; Massengill, L.; Galloway, K.F.; Attia, J.; Circuit-level model for single-event burnout in N-channel power MOSFET's, Radiation and Its Effects on Components and Systems, 1999. RADECS 99. 1999 Fifth European Conference on 13-17 Sept. 1999 Page(s):173 - 179

Single Event Burnout (SEB) of power MOSFET's is a catastrophic failure mechanism that is initiated by the passage of a heavy ion through the device. In this paper, an SEB circuit model of the power MOSFET has been developed. The calibrations of model parameters are illustrated. The dependence of SEB sensitivity on various parameters is presented and compared with experimental results. The parasitic resistance and capacitance of the device as well as the circuit parameters contribute to the length of SEB pulse. Increasing the switching frequency of the power MOSFET may be a possible way to prevent SEB in applications. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [Paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[KUBO00A]Kuboyama, S.; Suzuki, T.; Hirao, T.; Matsuda, S.; Mechanism for single-event burnout of bipolar transistors, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 47, Issue 6, Part 3, Dec. 2000 Page(s):2634 - 2639

The mechanism for single-event burnout (SEB) of bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) was investigated with EPICS (Energetic Particle Induced Charge Spectroscopy) technique. The result indicated that the SEBs were triggered by newly identified electron injection mechanism that could not be predicted by usual numerical device simulators. Additionally the two stage SEB mechanism was proposed for BJTs. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 10 figures, 2 tables, 17 references.

[HUAN00A] Huang, S.; Amaratunga, G.A.J.; Udrea, F.; Analysis of SEB and SEGR in super-junction MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 47, Issue 6, Part 3, Dec. 2000 Page(s):2640 - 2647

The electric field distribution in the super-junction power MOSFET is analyzed using analytical modeling and numerical simulations in this paper. The single-event burnout (SEB) and single-event gate rupture (SEGR) phenomena in this device are studied in detail. It is demonstrated that the super-junction device is much less sensitive to SEB and SEGR compared to the standard power MOSFET. The physical mechanism is explained. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 8 pages, 11 figures, 4 tables, 13 equations, 18 references.

A super-junction MOSFET adds n and p pillars in what would be the body n material in conventional device. This lowers on resistance. The pillars have the added benefit of reducing SEB and SEGR rates in the device by lowering field gradients. [JF ABSTRACT]

[WALK00A] Walker, D.G.; Fisher, T.S.; Liu, J.; Schrimpf, R.D.; Thermal characterization of single event burnout failure in semiconductor power devices, Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium, 2000. Sixteenth Annual IEEE 21-23 March 2000 Page(s):213 - 219

Previous experimental investigations of single event burnout of power devices due to heavy ion impacts have been performed to identify the conditions required to result in failure of devices. To verify these findings, simulations have been performed that model the burnout with limited success. Although simulations provide order-of-magnitude estimates as well as prediction of phenomenological features, they have not provided completely quantitative agreement to measurements and cannot characterize all experimental data. By describing the temperature response to the burnout event using an analytic conduction solution, secondary electrical features can be characterized. Further, it is believed that simulation modeling can be advanced through the inclusion of temperature models. This work, therefore, represents a first attempt to characterize thermal failure of power devices due to heavy ion impacts. The thermal model in the present work produces qualitative agreement with experiments on single-event burnout that have been previously unexplained. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [Paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[MCDO00A] McDonald, P.T.; Henson, B.G.; Stapor, W.J.; Harris, M.; Destructive heavy ion SEE investigation of 3 IGBT devices, Radiation Effects Data Workshop, 2000 24-28 July 2000 Page(s):11 - 15

Previous work has well documented the occurrence of Single Event Burnout (SEB) and Single Event Gate Rupture (SEGR) in bipolar transistors. In this investigation, we measured destructive single event effects (SEE) on three different device types of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors. We examined three manufacturer's device types from Omnirel, Infineon, and Semikron with maximum operating VCE biases of 600 to 1200 volts. All three device types were susceptible both SEE and SEGR, but the resulting estimated event rates in the natural environment are very low. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [Paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[RIVE01A] Rivetta, C.; Allongue, B.; Berger, G.; Faccio, F.; Hajdas, W.; Single event burnout in DC-DC converters for the LHC experiments, Radiation and Its Effects on Components and Systems, 2001. 6th European Conference on 10-14 Sept. 2001 Page(s):315 - 322

High voltage transistors in DC-DC converters are prone to catastrophic single event burnout in the LHC radiation environment. This paper presents a systematic methodology to analyze single event effects sensitivity in converters and proposes solutions based on de-rating input voltage and output current or voltage. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [Paper not available to me for this update. JF]

[WARR02A] Warren, K.; Roth, D.; Kinnison, J.; Pappalardo, R.; Single-event burnout of n-p-n bipolar-junction transistors in hybrid DC/DC converters, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 49, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 2002 Page(s):3097 - 3099

Single-event-induced failure of the Lambda Advanced Analog AMF2805S DC/DC Converter has been traced to burnout of an n-p-n transistor in the MOSFET drive stage. The failures were observed during testing while in inhibit mode only. Modifications to prevent burnout of the drive stage were successfully employed. A discussion of the failure mechanism and consequences for DC/DC converter testing are presented. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 3 pages, 2 figures, 1 table, 5 references. I'm not too sure whether this is SEB or just poor design. Elsewhere I have discussed the need to have a resistor or other current limiting device to interrupt a path blocked only by semiconductor junctions. This resistor was left out of the design and heavy ions induced failure. No surprise the circuit failed.

[SHEE02A] Sheehy, R.; Dekter, J.; Machin, N.; Sea level failures of power MOSFETs displaying characteristics of cosmic radiation effects, Power Electronics Specialists Conference, 2002. pesc 02. 2002 IEEE 33rd Annual Volume 4, 23-27 June 2002 Page(s):1741 - 1745

An investigation into the failure rate of power MOSFETs with room temperature junctions has been performed at sea level covering a range of drain voltages up to 110% of device rating. Phenomenally high failures rates over 10% per week were recorded using a test arrangement where the devices were configured to block continuous forward DC voltage. The failure rates were found to be several orders of magnitude higher than the expected Arrhenius model rate and were found to have a maximum near room temperature. The data was found to exceed the estimated sea level single event burnout and single event gate rupture described in space and avionics radiation research papers, at greater than 80% voltage stress. Experimental data and the test arrangements are described, along with an empirical equation for reliability prediction. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 5 pages, 9 figures, 1 equation, 12? references.

The IEEE Explore PDF is missing a page of references [JF ABSTRACT].

[TITU03A] Titus, J.L.; Wheatley, C.F.; SEE characterization of vertical DMOSFETs: an updated test protocol, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 50, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 2003 Page(s):2341 - 2351

The test protocols for power MOSFETs used in the manufacturer's specification sheets are inadequate in that they do not represent a realistic worst-case condition. In addition, the applicable single-event effects (SEE) test methods and guidelines do not provide sufficient details to the user as to what conditions should be used, placing an undue burden on them. This paper addresses several of these deficiencies and others. We present a new test protocol; we suggest a new approach to describe the SEE response; and we provide a model to predict critical ion energies that should produce a worst-case response. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 11 pages, 10 figures, 5 tables, 7 equations. 17 references.

[SEXT03A] Sexton, F.W.; Destructive single-event effects in semiconductor devices and ICs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 50, Issue 3, Part 3, June 2003 Page(s):603 - 621

Developments in the field of destructive single-event effects over the last 40 years are reviewed. Single-event latchup, single-event burnout, single-event gate rupture, and single-event snap-back are discussed beginning with the first observation of each effect, its phenomenology, and the development of present day understanding of the mechanisms involved.[AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 19 pages, 26 figures, 5 equations, 96 references.

[KUBO03A] Kuboyama, S.; Ikeda, N.; Hirao, T.; Matsuda, S.; Enhanced avalanche multiplication factor and single-event burnout, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 50, Issue 6, Part 1, Dec. 2003 Page(s):2233 - 2238

We describe experimental data for single-event burnout of bipolar junction transistors and the results of analysis using device simulators. The analysis indicates that the enhanced impact ionization rate in the ion track plays an essential role to trigger the burnout. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 11 figures, 2 tables, 2 equations, 13 references.

[IKED04A]Ikeda, N.; Kuboyama, S.; Matsuda, S.; Single-event burnout of Super-junction power MOSFETs, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 51, Issue 6, Part 2, Dec. 2004 Page(s):3332 - 3335

The experimental results of single-event burnout (SEB) of super-junction power MOSFETs are reported for the first time in comparison with those of standard MOSFETs. Similar tendencies were observed from both results. While a super-junction MOSFET (SJ-MOSFET) has an attractive electrical performance such as low on-resistance and high breakdown voltage, the experiment demonstrated that there was no structural advantage in SEB tolerance. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 4 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables, 5 references.

[KUBO04A] Kuboyama, S.; Ikeda, N.; Hirao, T.; Matsuda, S.; Improved model for single-event burnout mechanism, Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on Volume 51, Issue 6, Part 2, Dec. 2004 Page(s):3336 - 3341

We describe an improved model for single-event burnout (SEB) mechanism. The model includes the direct tunneling of carriers at the interface of epitaxial layer and substrate. Compared with our previous models, the new model is more successful in reproducing the voltage dependence of the collected charge when incident heavy ions strike the emitter area. The model clearly explains the reason why the emitter stripe region was more susceptible to SEBs. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] 6 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables, 2 equations, 14 references.

[DAVI04A] Davidson, C.D.; Blackmore, E.W.; Hess, J.I.; Failures of MOSFETs in terrestrial power electronics due to single event burnout, Telecommunications Energy Conference, 2004. INTELEC 2004. 26th Annual International 19-23 Sept. 2004 Page(s):503 - 507

Failures of semiconductor devices caused by cosmic radiation exposure is well known in space and avionics applications. However it is not well known that similar issues exist, to a lesser extent, for terrestrial applications. We have conducted research into the phenomenon of single event burnout (SEB) of high voltage power electronics semiconductor devices, specifically MOSFETs that are ubiquitously used in modern switchmode power electronics. The research revealed that SEB and related effects, caused by high-energy neutrons generated by the impact of cosmic radiation on our upper atmosphere, are a real possibility at ground level. An introduction and overview of the SEB effect, a review of existing literature indicating the flux and energy distribution of neutrons that reach the earth's surface and an overview of the structure of MOSFET devices indicating why they could be susceptible to the SEB effect is given. Experiments were conducted which demonstrated that random failures of high voltage MOSFET devices, when they are biased in the off state, do occur at a much higher rate than should otherwise be expected. A summary of experiments that were carried out at the TRIUMF cyclotron laboratory on both individual MOSFETs and on electronic equipment containing MOSFETs is presented. These experiments provide strong evidence that failures of MOSFETs and circuits using MOSFETs can be caused by neutrons with energy distributions similar to that experienced on the earth's surface. [AUTHOR ABSTRACT] [Paper not available to me for this update. JF]

Original: November 29, 1992, revised September 5, 2005

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