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Journal of the Korean Physical Society, Vol. 59, No. 2, August 2011, pp.

2022∼2025

Estimates of SEU for Semiconductors Using MC50 Cyclotron and GEANT4
Simulation
J. W. Shin
Department of Physics, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea

T. -S. Park and S. W. Hong∗
Department of Physics and Department of Energy Science,
Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea

J. K. Park and J. T. Kim
School of Information and Communication Engineering,
Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea

J. -S. Chai
Department of Energy Science and School of Information and Communication Engineering,
Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Korea
(Received 26 April 2010)
The Single Event Upset (SEU) on semiconductor RAM memories due to terrestrial neutrons is
measured by using the MC50 Cyclotron at KIRAMS. Proton beams impinging on a thick Be target
produce neutrons, which then bombard the semiconductors to cause SEU. Due to the thickness of
the Be target used in this experiment, the neutron beam has a broad energy spectrum. Thus, the
SEU could not be obtained directly as a function of neutron energies. To solve this problem, we
propose an approximate method of estimating the SEU as a function of the neutron energy when
the neutron beams have a broad range of energy. In this work, three different energies of proton
beams of 30, 35, and 40 MeV were used. By extracting the difference of the neutron yields at these
energies, we can make a rough estimate of SEU as a function of neutron energies. Monte Carlo
simulations are performed to obtain the neutron flux from the MC50 cyclotron. Our results for the
SEU turn out to be comparable to the previous results.
PACS numbers: 61.80.Hg, 29.20.Hm
Keywords: SEU, MC-50, Neutron, Monte Carlo simulation, GEANT4
DOI: 10.3938/jkps.59.2022

I. INTRODUCTION
Random access memories (RAMs) are sensitive to
high-energy particles such as energetic neutrons in the
atmosphere. The excessive charges generated by high
energy particles incident on reverse-biased PN junctions
can induce an instant current flow which may disrupt
normal system function [1]. This single-event effect
(SEE) can change the content of the memory elements,
which is called Single Event Upset (SEU). In our previous work, we proposed an approximate subtraction
method to take into account the non-mono energetic
nature of the neutron beam from MC-50 cyclotron at
KIRAMS (Korea Institute of Radiological Medical Sciences) [2], where we calculated neutron spectra with
GEANT4 (v.9.1) with G4binary cascade model and ob∗ E-mail:

swhong@skku.ac.kr

tained good results. In this work, we further develop
our approach by first confirming our previous results in
Ref. 2 with an updated version of GEANT4 (v.9.3) and
by checking the dependency of the results with three
different models; Binary Cascade, Bertini Cascade and
LEProtonInelastic models.
II. METHOD
1. SEU cross section

The SEU cross section σ SEU is defined as
σSEU (E) =

1
dNSEU (E)
·
Nbits dF Ln (E)

,

(1)

where NSEU (E) denotes the number of SEUs, Nbits the
number of total memory bits, and FLn (E) the neutron
fluence for a given testing time in units of n/cm2 .

-2022-

which is parametrisation driven model. the produced neutrons do not have a narrow peak in energy but have a broad energy spectrum from 0 to the incident proton energy. which we will briefly discuss in the next subsection. The target nucleus is modeled by a 3-D collection of nucleons. Thus from these neutron beams we cannot extract the SEU cross section as a function of the neutron energy. The target nucleus is treated as an average nuclear medium to which excitons (particle-hole states) are added after each collision. The MC-50 cyclotron uses a thick Be target of 10. since the underlying theories (i. which enables the simulation of propagation of particles that interact with materials and/or other particles. The Bertini model also generates the final state for hadron inelastic scattering by simulating the intranuclear cascade. In order to obtain the whole neutron spectra. -2023- in C++ language. there is a huge diversity for the hadronic processes. To extract the SEU cross section of Eq. 3. Hadronic Models in GEANT4 Fig. (1) one needs to know the neutron flux that causes the SEU. Shin et al. 2 we proposed an approximate method of extracting the SEU cross section when neutrons are produced with a broad energy spectrum by a thick target. Neutron energy spectra Neutron energy spectra produced by protons of 2 µA from MC-50 cyclotron are calculated with GEANT4 and are plotted in Fig. Due to the thickness of the target. 2. neutron tracking cut was not used. we used these hadronic models to compare the prediction capabilities of the proton-induced neutron spallation process. In this work we choose three different hadronic models: Binary Cascade.e. III. 3. 1.5 mm in thickness. On the contrary. Bertini Cascade and LEProtonInelastic. The detailed approximation procedure can be found in Ref. The MC-50 cyclotron can provide neutron beams up to 40 MeV generated by the proton beams impinging on the Beryllium target. Three different hadronic models are used. Users should then invoke the relevant physics models suitable for the process [9-10]. Classical and Quantum Electrodynamics) are well established. users must choose a proper process for simulations. In this work. 4. A simulation of the electromagnetic processes is well standardized. W.3 version is used. Ep and En denote the incident proton and . RESULTS 1. In this work. The final state of each collision is sampled according to free-particle cross section data. 2. Neutron production target of MC-50 Figures 1 and 2 show the target area for producing neutron beams of the MC-50 cyclotron. In Ref. The dF Ln /dEn is plotted for three different hadronic models for three incident proton energies. However. Thus we perform GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation to extract the neutron beam profile by using the geometry shown in Fig. many packages (or physics models) are builtin in GEANT4. the experimental data of the neutron beam spectrum for the present experimental set-up are not available. To accommodate this diversity. (Color online) Schematic drawing of the neutron production target area including collimators. GEANT4 GEANT4 (GEometry ANd Tracking 4) [3] is an object-oriented Monte Carlo simulation toolkit written In GEANT4. medical physics [6-7] and space science [7-8]. It is widely used in many different fields such as high energy and nuclear physics [4-5]. 1. as opposed to a smooth nuclear medium. Fig.. Figure 3 shows dF Ln /dEn which is the number of neutrons per cm2 as a function of neutron energy. GEANT4 Binary Cascade is a data driven intranuclear cascade model propagating primary and secondary particles in a nucleus. LEProtonInelastic model generates the final state for proton inelastic scattering. GEANT4 9. This model generates the final state for hadron inelastic scattering by simulating the intra-nuclear cascade.Estimates of SEU for Semiconductors Using MC50 Cyclotron and GEANT4 Simulation – J. It is one of the LEP models derived from the low energy part of GEISHA [11]. (Color online) The exterior view of the neutron production target area of MC50 cyclotron. 2. depending on the particles under consideration and on their energies.

3. because low energy neutrons cause little contribution to SEU cross sections [12]. (Color online) Difference spectra between two neutron fluencies are plotted.5 and 37. (1) the SEU is defined as a function of neutron energy.35 ± 1. 59. 4 x 10 difference spectrum 9 (a) SRAM1 G4LE 6 G4Binary G4Berti 3 0 9 (b) 6 3 0 5 10 15 20 E n 25 30 35 40 45 (MeV) Fig. We may take Fig. the produced neutron energies.91 5.50 ± 0. 4 (a) as a virtual quasi-mono energetic neutron beam at En = 32.88 ± 0.79 ± 0.-2024- Journal of the Korean Physical Society. By subtracting (dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 30 MeV from (dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 35 MeV we obtain the spectrum in Fig. whereas in this work neutrons with the energy lower than 1 MeV are excluded.62 ± 1. Subtraction method In Ref.03 (MeV) 5 10 4 10 6 10 p n dFL /dE G4LE G4Binary G4Bertini 4 10 SRAM0 5 10 4 10 0 5 10 15 20 E n 25 30 35 40 45 (MeV) Fig.(dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 35 MeV . With these broad energy spectra.00 ± 0. August 2011 Table 1.79 3. 5 and 6 we compare our resultant SEU cross sections from KIRAMS MC-50 with those from TSL [12] for SRAM0 (CY62127BVLL-70BAI) and SRAM1 (CY62157CV25LL-70BAI). and so the open symbols almost overlap with each other. at neutron energies below 1 MeV. In Eq. In our analysis. However. 4 (b) can be taken as a virtual quasi-mono energetic neutron beam at En = 37. respectively.82 4. 2.12 2.5 3.50 ± 0. Our SEU cross sections for En = 32. 2. squares and diamonds agree well with TSL results. The results show that our approximate sub- .5 2.) The differences among the results using three hadronic models are too small to be seen. Vol.99 ± 0. the MC-50 cyclotron produces the neutrons of a broad range of energy as shown in Fig. SEU cross sections (× 10−14 ) [cm2 /bit]. 2.5 1. 3. triangles.84 ± 1. 2. it is impossible to obtain the SEU as a function of En . 35 and 40 MeV. SEU cross section In Figs. For neutron energies higher than about 10 MeV the neutron spectra obtained from three different models are more or less the same.88 37. 4. Therefore. No.5 4. 6 E 10 = 30 MeV p G4LE 2 ( n / cm / MeV ) 5 G4Binary 10 En G4Berti 6 10 E = 35 MeV n Previous results [2] E = 40 MeV p 32.79 1. Figure 4 also shows that the difference spectra from different hadronic models are more or less the same.51 ± 0. (Color online) Neutron energy spectra produced by 2 µA protons of MC-50 cyclotron are simulated for Ep = 30. 4(a) which looks similar to the quasi-mono energetic spectrum at En = 32. TSL and TSL (Raw) represent the SEU cross section with the full neutron spectrum and the SEU cross section with only the peak of neutron spectrum.5 MeV. 4(b).95 4. which agree with each other well. 3. neutron fluences calculated by three different models are almost the same near the maximum neutron energies. (Note that the values listed in Table 1 as the previous results are somewhat different from those in Table 1 of Ref.83 ± 0.69 4.48 ± 1.97 ± 0.76 37.59 4. (a) represents the difference spectra of (dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 35 MeV (dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 30 MeV and (b) represents the difference spectra of (dF Ln /dEn )Ep = 40 MeV .20 32. We listed in Table 1 the SEU cross sections from the present work and the previous work [2]. The same can be done at 35 < En < 40 MeV to get the spectrum in Fig. Similarly Fig.81 1. neutrons having the energy lower than 1 MeV are excluded.5 MeV. Figure 4 represents the differ- ence spectrum between two neutron fluences from two incident proton energies. However. respectively.15 2. Thus we propose a new method to extract the SEU. to obtain the experimental values of SEU. On the contrary. one needs the neutron beams in mono energetic form.72 1. It is because in Ref.5 MeV denoted by the open circles. the LEProtonInelastic (“LE”) model predicted more yields than the other two models.17 2.77 ± 1.24 ± 0. 2 we showed that two neutron spectra dF Ln /dEn with broad energy distributions could be subtracted from each other to extract a virtual quasi-mono energetic neutron beam. respectively.01 ± 0.5 MeV with a width of 5 MeV. neutrons with the energy lower than 10 MeV are excluded in calculating the SEU cross sections.

Instrum. M. the results from the LEProtonInelastic model which is a parameterization driven model significantly deviate from those from Binary model which is a data driven model. A 525. U. Sci. the LEProtonInelastic. Lee. Lamare. 53. J. Nucl. M. Res. Nucl. 1871 (2006).-P. Conf. S. Sim. in the energy ranges we considered. S. Res. A. The open squares. Sect. 6. The open squares. K. Rhee. J. [2] J. Wright. However. Binary Cascade and Bertini Cascade models can be used with a reasonable accuracy for the simulation of neutron production. K. REFERENCES -14 SEU TSL TSL (Raw) KIRAMS with G4LE KIRAMS with G4Binary KIRAMS with G4Berti 10 -2025- KIRAMS with G4Binary (previous results) -15 0 20 40 60 80 100 E n 120 140 160 180 200 (MeV) Fig. Sect. (Color online) SEU cross sections for SRAM0 device. Lee. -13 SEU cross section (SRAM0) 2 (cm /bit) 10 -14 SEU 10 TSL TSL (Raw) KIRAMS with G4LE KIRAMS with G4Binary KIRAMS with G4Berti 10 KIRAMS with G4Binary (previous results) -15 0 20 40 60 80 100 E n 120 140 160 180 200 (MeV) Fig. S. but differences among the three different hadronic models are not significant. Methods Phys. Instrum. 669 (2003). Staelens and R. Kirov. 2011-0006347) and (No. 514 (2002). Agostinelli et al. IEEE Nucl. Methods Phys. Instrum. Y. 250 (2003). Visvikis. The open diamonds denote our previous results [2]. traction method can be used with a reasonable accuracy to obtain SEU cross sections when the neutron beams have a broad spectrum. [11] H. K. 2011-0006294) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education. Fesefeldt. 5. J. (Wyndham. Methods Phys. L. 58. J. respectively. J. Danford. Chiavassa. Korean Phys. Baumann. F. The open diamonds denote our previous results [2]. A 569. 1985. Chai. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was supported in part by the WCU program (R31-2008-10029) and by National Nuclear R&D Program (No. The filled circles and triangles represent TSL (with the full neutron spectrum) and TSL (Raw) (with only the peak of neutron spectrum) results. Binary and Bertini models. circles and triangles represent KIRAMS results with LE. circles and triangles represent KIRAMS results with LE. [10] A. Park. Soc. Methods Phys. Kim. Hong. 2005). B. IEEE T. K. C. Science and Technology. P. K. Desorgher. Shin et al. A 502. -13 SEU cross section (SRAM1) 2 (cm /bit) 10 10 GEANT4 version 9. Jamil. Maigne. 299 (2004). respectively [12]. Hong.. Wellisch. A 506. W. N. 39. We find that our results agree with the TSL experimental results within a factor of about 2. S. Kwon. S. Three different hadronic models are used to estimate the neutron fluence. G. Ivanchenko.3 (the present work) are not significant. Nucl. J. respectively. Bahk and S. [4] V. Sym. S. Also the difference between [1] R. Ivanchenko. [7] V. Nucl. D. W. Lee. Raulin. Park. A 494.Estimates of SEU for Semiconductors Using MC50 Cyclotron and GEANT4 Simulation – J. 402 (2004). except for the neutron energies below 1 MeV. [6] D. Nam. 1458 (2007). Int. Koo. G. T. Makhmutov. Fl¨ uckiger and J. Soc. Sect. Schofield and D. The filled circles and triangles represent TSL (with the full neutron spectrum) and TSL (Raw) (with only the peak of neutron spectrum) results. J. IV. [5] J. [8] V. Methods Phys. J. Space Res. [9] J. Hong. S. Rec. L. J. Bardies. A. Y. At energies below 1 MeV. [3] S. Sci. Granlund and N. Sect. T. Res. N. S. Olsson. (Color online) SEU cross sections for SRAM1 device. S. 33 (2006). . Binary and Bertini models. SUMMARY An approximate method of estimating neutron SEU cross section is applied to the neutron beams of broad energy spectra produced by MC-50 cyclotron. C. Bazilevskaya. S. Instrum. Nucl. Res. Korean Phys. W. Kim. 1511 (2011). Shin and S. Adv.1 (our previous results) and 9. Res. [12] T. Puerto Rico. Technical Report PITHA 85-02. Kim. C. When experimental or evaluated data are available with sufficient coverage. S. S. Y. Nucl. High Speed Electronics and Systems 14. G. Taschereau. E. Instrum. Sect. 48. data driven models are most optimal. 335 (2006). W. respectively [12]. Khan.