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Microelectronic Elements

#0254


Research and Development of an analog microelectronics component basis for radiation detector signal processing in experimental nuclear physics, reactor control and safety systems, fissionable materials supervision and registration

Tech Area / Field

  • INF-ELE/Microelectronics and Optoelectronics/Information and Communications

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
01.08.1994

Completion date
07.04.1999

Senior Project Manager
Meyer U

Leading Institute
MIFI, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • NII Pulsar, Russia, Moscow\nMiscellaneous, Russia\nAll-Russian Research Institute of Automatics, Russia, Moscow\nNIIIT (Pulse Techniques), Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • GSI, Germany, Darmstadt\nIstituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy, Milan

Project summary

The absence of an electronic component basis, appropriate for contemporary and perspective tasks in science and engineering restrains the progress of fundamental nuclear research and the improvement of reactor safety and fissionable material supervision systems. The project is aimed at the research and development of a new generation of an analog component basis for the mentioned fields of application. This component basis is shaped and related to the mentioned scientific and engineering fields by common processing algorithms for signals of radiation detectors. Both in multichannel nuclear research equipment and in special radiometric one, intended for reactor safety control and fissionable material supervision, employed are electronic signal processing channels with a structure and functional units essentially alike. The problem consists in the necessity of providing an optimum parameter aggregate for every specific order. One of the means, supposed to realize such an approach, will be the designed in limits of the given project special analog semicustom arrays (SA), supplemented by a library of circuit and layout solutions, permitting an IC optimization by an aggregate of parameters. According to the information possessed by the project authors, such special SA's are absent both in Russia and abroad. Such SA's together with a software for them will allow a faster and by the achieved parameter aggregate better IC design and manufacture, satisfying a specified order. Besides these SA's supposed is a design and approbation in equipment test samples of a basic IC set, containing particularly: low-noise preamplifier-shapers, discriminator-monoflops, constant-fraction discriminators, sample-hold circuits, analog multiplexors, matching and buffer units. The suggested IC's are distinguished from IC's of other purposes (applied in TV, radiocommunication media, etc.) both by function and parameter aggregate: high rapidity, extended dynamic range and high sensitivity at a low power consumption and, in some cases, an enhanced radiation hardness.

The investigated and designed component basis is supposed to include also a range of avalanche silicon detectors (solid state analogs of photo-multipliers), among them high-area ones. This detector type is potentially capable to operate without a high-voltage supply and with high rate, what can essentially improve the technologic and economic characteristics of some kinds of registration equipment for neutrons, gamma-quanta and alpha-particles. Supposed is a research of silicon structures, containing in a single crystal a detector and preamplifier-shaper. This will provide conditions for design of essentially new devices, pertaining to the field of soft gamma- and X-ray high-resolution spectrometry (if the crystal is being cooled) and may widen the capabilities of nuclear reactor control systems.

Supposed also are research and design of analog delay chips based on surface acoustic waves (SAW), having the advantage of higher radiation hardness, and being not employed up to now in front-end electronics.

A brief list of basic works, which are supposed to create a foundation for a new component basis, is as follows:

- design of problem-oriented analog basic chips and an accompanying software support for them;

- development of an advanced technological process for analog IC's manufactured by a simultaneous technology (bipolar and p-n junction FET);

- design and manufacture of test IC's pertaining to the front-end functional unit basic set and to the SAW delay-units;

- design and manufacture of radiation detector experimental samples including ones based on avalanche photodiodes;

- design and manufacture of experimental silicon structure samples, containing a detector and preamplifier-shaper on a single chip;

- mechanical design and manufacture of front-end PC units, based on the IC basic set;

- front-end PC unit testing accomplishment in an actual nuclear experiment environment, and IC testing in experimental equipment samples.

A successful realization of the project will allow in future a serial production of the designed IC's and electronic units according to orders of Russian and foreign scientific centers.

The demand on such microcircuits can be confirmed by the management and specialists of such leading Russian scientific centers as: ITEP (Protvino), JINR (Dubna), Kurchatov Institute (Moscow), ITEP (Moscow), PNPI (St. Petersburg) and others. An interest toward the microcircuits already manufactured has been shown also by specialists of foreign scientific centers. At present we possess a first experience of joint works with GSI (Darmstadt, Germany) in microcircuit manufacture for application in physical experiments.

The project realization responds to ISTC's aims in promoting scientific research conversion.


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