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Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technologies have been developed for radiation-hardened applications for many years and are rapidly becoming a main-stream commercial technology. The authors review the total dose, single-event effects, and dose rate hardness of SOI devices. The total dose response of SOI devices is more complex than for bulk-silicon devices due to the buried oxide. Radiation-induced trapped charge in the buried oxide can increase the leakage current of partially depleted transistors and decrease the threshold voltage and increase the leakage current of fully depleted transistors. Process techniques that reduce the net amount of radiation-induced positive charge trapped in the buried oxide and device design techniques that mitigate the effects of trapped charge in the buried oxide have been developed to harden SOI devices to bulk-silicon device levels. The sensitive volume for charge collection in SOI technologies is much smaller than for bulk-silicon devices potentially making SOI devices much harder to single-event upset (SEU). However, bipolar amplification caused by floating body effects can significantly reduce the SEU hardness of SOI devices. Body ties are used to reduce floating body effects and improve SEU hardness. SOI ICs are completely immune to classic four-layer p-n-p-n single-event latchup; however, floating body effects make SOI ICs susceptible to single-event snapback (single transistor latch). The sensitive volume for dose rate effects is typically two orders of magnitude lower for SOI devices than for bulk-silicon devices. By using body ties to reduce bipolar amplification, much higher dose rate upset levels can be achieved for SOI devices than for bulk-silicon devices.
Date of Publication: June 2003