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New Radiation-Hardened Design of a CMOS Instrumentation Amplifier and its Tolerant Characteristic Analysis

1
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Deajeon 34057, Korea
2
Department of Electronic Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Korea
3
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Hanyang University, Ansan 15588, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2020, 9(3), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9030388
Received: 14 January 2020 / Revised: 11 February 2020 / Accepted: 18 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Microelectronics and Optoelectronics)
A radiation-hardened instrumentation amplifier (IA) that allows precise measurement in radiation environments, including nuclear power plants, space environments, and radiation therapy rooms, was designed and manufactured, and its characteristics were verified. Most electronic systems are currently designed using silicon-based complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits (ICs) to achieve a highly integrated low-power design. However, fixed charges induced in silicon by ionization radiation cause various negative effects, resulting in, for example, the generation of leakage current in circuits, performance degradation, and malfunction. Given that such problems in radiation environments may directly lead to a loss of life or environmental contamination, it is critical to implement radiation-hardened CMOS IC technology. In this study, an IA used to amplify fine signals of the sensors was designed and fabricated in the 0.18 μm CMOS bulk process. The IA contained sub-circuits that ensured the stable voltage supply needed to implement system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. It was also equipped with special radiation-hardening technology by applying an I-gate n-MOSFET that blocks the radiation-induced leakage currents. Its ICs were verified to provide the intended performance following a total cumulative dose of up to 25 kGy(Si), ensuring its safety in radiation environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiation-hardening technology; CMOS bulk process; integrated circuit (IC); instrumentation amplifier (IA); total cumulative dose radiation-hardening technology; CMOS bulk process; integrated circuit (IC); instrumentation amplifier (IA); total cumulative dose
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Lee, M.; Cho, S.; Lee, N.; Kim, J. New Radiation-Hardened Design of a CMOS Instrumentation Amplifier and its Tolerant Characteristic Analysis. Electronics 2020, 9, 388.

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