Zinc Oxide Thin Film Transistor Technology Introduced for Radiation-Hard Space Applications

INDEPENDENCE, Mom – Intellectual Property Developers LLC in Independence, Mo., Introduces Zinc Oxide thin film transistors technology for radiation-hardened applications in space.

Called the ZnO radiation-hardened thin-film transistors, the patented rad-hard room electronics technology was developed in conjunction with Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

A thin film transistor consists of an annealed layer containing crystalline zinc oxide, with a passivation layer adjacent to the thin film transistor. The passivation layer has a thickness and material composition such that when a radiation dose from a radiation source irradiates the thin film transistor, a portion of the dose comprising an estimated maximum concentration of the dose is contained within the annealed layer.

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The annealed layer has a thickness and threshold displacement energies after it is annealed, so that a difference between a transfer characteristic value of the thin film transistor before and after the dose is less than a first threshold; and a difference between a characteristic value of the transistor output of the thin film before and after the dose is less than a second threshold. The thresholds are based on a desired performance of the thin film transistor.

The ZnO technology is radiation hardened in irradiation of gamma rays, and is intended for application of radiation-hard electronics in space, nuclear power plants, high-altitude aviation and other radiation environments.

ZnO technology offers lower volume, mass and power consumption that can operate in extreme temperature ranges.

Related: Radiation Hardened Space Electronics Enter the Multi-Core Era

ZnO technology compares favorably with silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride. ZnO technology is relatively inexpensive to synthesize device-grade materials compared to GaN or SiC, Intellectual Property Developers officials say.

The company has completed a two-year research project showing that ZnO transistors work well under exposure to difficult radiation situations. A patent for ZnO technology has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

For more information, contact Vincent Salva, president of Intellectual Property Developers LLC, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 816-254-6670.

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