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Radiation hardness testing with beams of high energy heavy ions

17 April 2014

On April 1st 2014, after extensive preparations, the first measurements of radiation hardness of electronic components for space applications have been performed with high energy heavy ions from the AGOR cyclotron. These measurements were made by ESA (European Space Agency) using specially developed beams of high energy Neon, Argon, Krypton and Xenon. Thanks to the high energy the ions can penetrate into the active part of electronic components, such as computer processors and memory. During the irradiation the components suffer the same damage as in space, where a high level of radiation is present. Because of the continuing miniaturization of semiconductor components, this damage becomes increasingly important, which has caused an increased demand for test capacity of components that will be used in satellites, aircraft and even ground based applications.

ESA and companies in space and aviation industry have been using the high energy proton beams from the AGOR cyclotron already for about 10 years to perform research into radiation damage. Because of the increased demand for heavier ions, an under-capacity has developed in Europe which the facility at KVI-CART can now alleviate. We therefore expect a significant expansion of these contract research activities.

Set-up for heavy ion irradiations in air
Set-up for heavy ion irradiations in air
Last modified:04 July 2014 9.40 p.m.
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