Date of Award

8-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Benjamin J. Blalock

Committee Members

Charles L. Britton, Syed K. Islam

Abstract

This thesis presents the analysis, implementation and testing of a circuit-level radiation hardened-by-design (RHBD) technique first presented in [1]. Radiation effects heavily influence the cost and design of electronics bound for radiation-rich environments such as in nuclear reactors or space. The circuit-level RHBD technique is presented as a cost-effective way to mitigate total-ionizing dose (TID) radiation in digital complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistor circuits. These claims are analyzed and experimentally tested.

Devices from a relatively old and a newer semiconductor fabrication process are tested to investigate the impact of device scaling on the RHBD technique’s effectiveness. A rad-tolerant frequency synthesizer that implements this technique is discussed. Challenges in the project included implementing efficient testing procedures at the radiation test facilities. Testing time was limited and in-situ­ test methodologies utilizing LabView programs were used effectively.

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