Investigation of Light-Matter Interactions for Single Event Effects Testing in Microelectronic and Photonic Devices
Ryder, Landen Daniel
Since the dawn of the Space Age, spaced-based systems have played an increasingly prominent role in everyday life. In order to ensure that materials and systems used in the harsh radiation environment of space operate reliably during their deployment lifetime, radiation effects testing must be carried out. Single event effects testing is one of the qualification tests that must be performed to determine whether the charge deposited by an individual ionizing particle is likely to cause device- or systems-level errors ranging from temporary erroneous signal states to destructive failures. Due to the risks imposed by single event effects, ground-based testing is commonly performed to estimate the sensitivity of a device or system and to quantify the rate at which single event effects will occur. Although ground-based single event effects testing is traditionally conducted at large particle accelerators, test hour shortages have driven the development of alternative test techniques such as pulsed laser-induced single event effects testing. This dissertation focuses on the implications of using pulsed laser energy deposition as a proxy for energy deposition from ionizing particles. In particular, simulations and experiments are carried out to characterize pulsed laser-induced single event effects testing of several microelectronic and photonic devices, including silicon-on-insulator FinFETs, waveguide-integrated photodiodes and passive photonic structures. The simulation framework developed in this thesis incorporates nonlinear optical energy deposition and nanophotonic effects, which are essential for estimating the radiation-induced response of photonics devices as well as microelectronics devices with subwavelength features and metal-dielectric interfaces. The wider charge distribution and potential nanophotonic effects that may occur when using pulsed laser testing must be taken into account in order to 1) accurately predict device responses prior to measurement and 2) reliably correlate pulsed laser measurements with those of ionizing particles. The excellent agreement between simulation and experiment demonstrated in this thesis paves the way for the expanded use of pulsed laser single event testing in next-generation microelectronics and integrated photonics technologies.