Experimental study of neutron irradiation effect on elementary semiconductor devices using Am-Be neutron source

Swami, H.L. ; Rathod, Rajat ; Rao, T Srinivas; Abhangi, M ; Vala, S ; Danani, C ; Chaudhuri, P ; Srinivasan, R


An experiment has been conducted to evaluate the lifetime, reliability and operational performance of elementary semiconductor devices in the neutron radiation environment which supports to reduce the fatal in measurements and plan the preventive actions in nuclear facilities. It will also support the enhancement of electronics for nuclear facilities. The elementary semiconductor devices used in the experiment are Diode (1n4007), Zener Diode (5.1v), Light Emitting Diode, Transistor (BC547, 2n3904), Voltage controlling IC (7805), Operational Amplifier (LM741) and Optocoupler (4n35). The selection of devices has been made by keeping in mind their application in transmitting devices (i.e. Temperature transmitter, pressure transmitter, flow transmitter, monitors and controllers) for Indian test blanket system in ITER. Such devices are also used in general nuclear electronics. The devices have been irradiated in the Am-Be neutron source environment. The maximum fluence has been given up to 1011 n/cm2. The neutron source has energy range from low to high. All semiconductor devices have been characterized before and after irradiations. The deviation of 5 - 10% is observed in diodes I-V characteristics whereas transistors show a bit higher deflection in basic functionality. Optocoupler shows more than 50% deviation in its basic characteristics whereas voltage-controlling IC is not even functioning after the irradiation of 1011 n/cm2. The paper describes the details of the experiment and the behavior of semiconductor devices after irradiation. The experiment supports the selection and further research of the Indian test blanket system instruments.


Neutron; Radiation effect; Am-Be Source; Semiconductor device; Integrated Circuits

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