The design of SiGe integrated circuit components for extreme environment systems and sensors
Diestelhorst, Ryan Matthew
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A background investigation of the total-dose radiation tolerance of a third generation complementary SiGe:C BiCMOS technology platform was performed. Tolerance was quantified under proton and X-ray radiation sources for both the npn and pnp HBT, as well as for an operational amplifier built with these devices. Furthermore, a technique known as junction isolation radiation hardening was proposed and tested with the goal of improving the SEE sensitivity of the npn by reducing the charge collected by the subcollector in the event of a direct ion strike. Three independent systems were designed, including: 1) a charge amplification channel developed as part of a remote electronics unit for the lunar environment, 2) variable bias circuitry for a self-healing radar receiver, and 3) an ultra-fast x-ray detector for picosecond scale time-domain measurements of evolving chemical reactions. The first two projects capitalized on the wide-temperature performance and radiation tolerance of the SiGe HBT, allowing them to operate under extreme environmental conditions reliably and consistently. The third design makes use of the high-frequency capabilities of the HBT, particularly in emitter-coupled logic (ECL) configurations. Findings concerning the performance of these systems and implications for future research are discussed.