Researchers devise Radiation-immune ICs for durable Electronics

For safe and reliable operations of electronic devices in outdoor environments, they need to be resistant to a wide variety of external factors, including radiation. So much so, high-energy radiation can damage several parts of field-effect transistors usually used to make electronics. The components that can be damaged include gate oxide, semiconducting channel, and insulating materials surrounding it.

Earlier, for several years, research teams world over have been trying to create a function for transistors to be more resistant to radiation. Nonetheless, this has proved to be highly challenging so far. And, only a few techniques that have been proposed in the past attained promising results.

Earlier Strategies suitable to harden single parts of Electronic Circuits only

In a bid for this, recently, researchers from a few universities in China have fabricated a radiation-hardened and reparable integrated circuit (IC). This integrated circuit is based on carbon nanotubes transistors with ion gel gates, and could be used to build new electronic devices that have higher resistance against high-energy radiation.

“The aim of the work involved creating a radiation-immune IC,” said one of the researchers who carried out the study. Besides general purpose chips, the requirements on integrated circuits and radiation-hardened electrical devices is growing fast. This is due to rapid developments in nuclear energy and space exploration sectors.

Meanwhile, most strategies proposed earlier for higher resistance of electronics are designed to harden only single parts of an electronic circuit. As such, it can be difficult to use these components to create transistors that are fully resistant to ultra-high radiation.

Therefore, the team of researchers introduced a new strategy that enables creation of ICs and transistors fully durable against radiation-related damage.