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Study of Single-Event Transient Effects on Analog Circuits



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Radiation in space is potentially hazardous to microelectronic circuits and systems such as spacecraft electronics. Transient effects on circuits and systems from high energetic particles can interrupt electronics operation or crash the systems. This phenomenon is particularly serious in complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits (ICs) since most of modern ICs are implemented with CMOS technologies. The problem is getting worse with the technology scaling down. Radiation-hardening-by-design (RHBD) is a popular method to build CMOS devices and systems meeting performance criteria in radiation environment. Single-event transient (SET) effects in digital circuits have been studied extensively in the radiation effect community. In recent years analog RHBD has been received increasing attention since analog circuits start showing the vulnerability to the SETs due to the dramatic process scaling. Analog RHBD is still in the research stage. This study is to further study the effects of SET on analog CMOS circuits and introduces cost-effective RHBD approaches to mitigate these effects. The analog circuits concerned in this study include operational amplifiers (op amps), comparators, voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs), and phase-locked loops (PLLs). Op amp is used to study SET effects on signal amplitude while the comparator, the VCO, and the PLL are used to study SET effects on signal state during transition time. In this work, approaches based on multi-level from transistor, circuit, to system are presented to mitigate the SET effects on the aforementioned circuits. Specifically, RHBD approach based on the circuit level, such as the op amp, adapts the auto-zeroing cancellation technique. The RHBD comparator implemented with dual-well and triple-well is studied and compared at the transistor level. SET effects are mitigated in a LC-tank oscillator by inserting a decoupling resistor. The RHBD PLL is implemented on the system level using triple modular redundancy (TMR) approach. It demonstrates that RHBD at multi-level can be cost-effective to mitigate the SEEs in analog circuits. In addition, SETs detection approaches are provided in this dissertation so that various mitigation approaches can be implemented more effectively. Performances and effectiveness of the proposed RHBD are validated through SPICE simulations on the schematic and pulsed-laser experiments on the fabricated circuits. The proposed and tested RHBD techniques can be applied to other relevant analog circuits in the industry to achieve radiation-tolerance.



Integrated Circuit, Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor, Radiation-Hardening-by-Design, Single-Event Transient, Single-Event Effects



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering


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