A technique for predicting the muon induced upset cross section in submicron MOS devices using proton tests and simulation
Trippe, James Michael
Muons produced by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere can induce single event upsets in modern technology nodes. Consequently, errors caused by muons have become a concern in certain terrestrial applications. Testing for these upsets is challenging since time at muon beam facilities is difficult to procure. To make muon testing more accessible, this thesis develops a new method for using simulations to design proton tests that predict the muon upset rate without the need for a muon beam. Since muons and protons have the same charge, muon energy deposition can be approximated by protons. It is demonstrated that for a given incident muon energy, there is a velocity matched proton that has the same linear energy transfer (LET). For cases where the LET of the muon does not change significantly before or within the device’s sensitive volume (SV), choosing the proton’s energy such that its velocity is matched to the muon’s is sufficient. Otherwise, Monte Carlo Radiative Energy Deposition (MRED) simulations are performed to determine the optimal proton energy. These methods are demonstrated and validated by MRED simulations for several device geometries from a relatively simple SiO2 back end of line structure to a complex configuration with heavy metals. It is shown that the beam energy for a proton test can be chosen so that the proton has analogous energy deposition compared to the muon within the SV.