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In this contribution, the impact of extreme environmental conditions in terms of energy-level radiation of protons on silicon–germanium (SiGe)-integrated circuits is experimentally studied. Canonical representative structures including linear (passive interconnects/antennas) and non-linear (low-noise amplifiers) are used as carriers for assessing the impact of aggressive stress conditions on their performances. Perspectives for holistic modeling and characterization approaches accounting for various interaction mechanisms (substrate resistivity variations, couplings/interferences, drift in DC and radio frequency (RF) characteristics) for active samples are down to allow for optimal solutions in pushing SiGe technologies toward applications with harsh and radiation-intense environments (e.g. space, nuclear, military). Specific design prototypes are built for assessing mission-critical profiles for emerging RF and mm-wave applications.
This paper presents a circuit architecture for a new integrated on chip test method for microwave circuits. The proposed built-in-self-test (BIST) cell targets a direct low-cost measurement technique of the gain and the 1 dB input compression point (CP1) of a K-band satellite receiver in the 18–22 GHz frequency bandwidth. A signal generator at the radiofrequency (RF) front end input of the device under test (DUT) has been integrated on the same chip. To inject this RF signal, a loopback technique has been used and the design has been accommodated for it. This paper focuses on the design of the most sensitive block of the BIST circuit, i.e. the RF signal generator. This circuit, fabricated in a SIGe:C BiCMOS process, consumes 10 mA. It presents a dynamic power range of 17 dB (−41; −24 dBm) and operates in a frequency range of 5.6 GHz (17.5; 23 GHz). This BIST circuit gives new perspectives in terms of test strategy, cost reduction, and measurement accuracy for microwave-integrated circuits and could be adapted for mm-wave circuits.
In this paper, the design and the measurements of three-dimensional through silicon vias (TSVs) based-integrated solenoids embedded within high-resistive silicon is presented. Prior to silicon implementation, a rigorous theoretical analysis is proposed to put in obviousness the advantages of using such coil architecture for L and S band applications. This analysis, demonstrates a clear reduction of the footprint passive function lying on the external substrate together with a reduced capacitive coupling with the local environment. Two-port radio frequency measurements have been performed in a wide-frequency range (100 MHz – 50 GHz) in order to support the theoretical investigations. Solenoids exhibit high-quality factors below 4 GHz – Q = 25 @ 2 GHz for a 800 pH device – and clearly outperforms classical planar architecture considered in most of the integrated circuit processes. Two different modeling approaches (compact modeling and EM modeling) are then proposed in order to speed-up their design implementation in a typical CAD design flow. Based on the available data, a good agreement is shown between and simulated data.
In this paper, a new methodology to compare the robustness of sensor structures employed in radiofrequency design for test (RF DFT) architectures for RF integrated circuits (ICs) is proposed. First, the yield loss and defect level of the test technique is evaluated using a statistical model of the Circuit under Test (obtained through non-parametric statistics and copula theory). Then, by carrying out the dispersion analysis of the sensor architecture, a figure of merit is established. This methodology reduces the number of iterations in the design flow of RF DFT sensors and makes it possible to evaluate process dispersion. The case study is a SiGe:C BiCMOS LNA tested by a single-probe measurement.
LInear amplification using Non-linear Components (LINC) is an architecture that achieves linear power amplification for radio-frequency (RF) transmitters. This paper describes the impact of RF power amplifiers (PAs) class on the overall system performances. The linearity and efficiency of the LINC transmitter with different PA classes (AB, B, C, D, E, F, F−1, and J) are evaluated and compared, in terms of error vector magnitude (EVM), adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR), and power added efficiency (PAE), for a 16QAM modulation having 5.6 dB peak to average power ratio. Simulations are performed using a gallium-nitride high electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) for a power amplifier with an output power of 10 W at 900 MHz.
CVD diamond combines attractive properties for the fabrication of detection devices operating in specific environments. One problem that remains critical for device stability is the presence of defect levels that alter the detection performances, and the detection characteristics often appear as they are very depending on time, temperature, and history of the preceding irradiations.
One issue we have proposed is to adapt one technique that is commonly used for time of flight spectroscopy in order to maintain a uniform electric field in the probed device, and based on the synchronisation of the device bias with the period of the excitation source. This can be applied to several types of detection applications, as long as we can rely on periodical triggering in order to synchronise the device polarisation. We apply it here to a LINAC electron accelerator used for photon pulse generation at the frequency of 25Hz. The result is a remarkable improvement of the performance of a polycrystalline diamond detector that exhibits a particularly defective response when used in the steady state excitation, to reach that of a perfectly stable and reproducible device response in the pulsed mode. We claim this method to be applicable to several types of excitations and particularly to present a high interest for monitoring accelerator sources, e.g. for medical dosimetry applications.
For all its remarkable properties, diamond is well known as an interesting material for radiation detection and more particularly for medical uses. Natural diamond use for detection application is limited because of its high cost and the severe gem selection needed to fabricate reproducible and reliable devices. The recent progress of the chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technique offers new possibilities in the fabrication of ionisation chambers as well as thermoluminescent dosimeters for the particular field of radiotherapy. This paper presents the use of CVD diamond for both applications.
For the use of diamond for TL applications, the purpose of this study was to control the trapping levels in the material with deliberate incorporation of impurities in CVD diamond film during the growth.
For ionisation chamber fabrication, the aim was to purposely incorporate defects (with nitrogen incorporation) in the material in order to better understand the modification of the charge transport during irradiation. The first results obtained when the device is used to monitor the beam fluency of a medical accelerator facility are presented here.
For both applications, several preliminary dosimetric parameters were probed and namely the reproducibility of the response, the linearity of the signal with the dose, and for TL dosimeters, both the optical and thermal fadings were carefully studied. Results are extremely encouraging and lead to interesting prospects for the use of diamond for dosimetry.
CVD diamond combines attractive properties for the fabrication of detection devices operating in specific environments. One inherent problem however with diamond is the presence of defect levels that are altering the detection characteristics. They result in unstable responses and carrier losses. One of the issues can be to operate the devices in the pulsed mode regime, when transitory effects are less impacted by defective levels evolution than for steady state currents. This therefore implies the use of materials that are faster, but also of lower carrier lifetime, and therefore generally agreed to be of poorer quality. This has therefore to be compromised with respect to the desired performances.
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