Real-time and on-site γ-ray radiation response testing system for semiconductor devices and its applications

Yifei Mu*, Ce Zhou Zhao, Yanfei Qi, Sang Lam, Chun Zhao, Qifeng Lu, Yutao Cai, Ivona Z. Mitrovic, Stephen Taylor, Paul R. Chalker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The construction of a turnkey real-time and on-site radiation response testing system for semiconductor devices is reported. Components of an on-site radiation response probe station, which contains a 1.11 GBq Cs137 gamma (γ)-ray source, and equipment of a real-time measurement system are described in detail for the construction of the whole system. The real-time measurement system includes a conventional capacitance-voltage (C-V) and stress module, a pulse C-V and stress module, a conventional current-voltage (I-V) and stress module, a pulse I-V and stress module, a DC on-the-fly (OTF) module and a pulse OTF module. Electrical characteristics of MOS capacitors or MOSFET devices are measured by each module integrated in the probe station under continuous γ-ray exposure and the measurement results are presented. The dose rates of different gate dielectrics are calculated by a novel calculation model based on the Cs137 γ-ray source placed in the probe station. For the sake of operators' safety, an equivalent dose rate of 70 nSv/h at a given operation distance is indicated by a dose attenuation model in the experimental environment. HfO2 thin films formed by atomic layer deposition are employed to investigate the radiation response of the high-κ material by using the conventional C-V and pulse C-V modules. The irradiation exposure of the sample is carried out with a dose rate of 0.175 rad/s and ±1 V bias in the radiation response testing system. Analysis of flat-band voltage shifts (ΔVFB) of the MOS capacitors suggests that the on-site and real-time/pulse measurements detect more serious degradation of the HfO2 thin films compared with the off-site irradiation and conventional measurement techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • HfO
  • High-κ dielectrics
  • On-site radiation response
  • Real-time I-V/C-V test
  • Total-dose induced defects

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