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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

Hidden Effects of Extreme Environments on Space Microelectronics (HEESM)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Study how far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics may help understand continuous entropic production by Total Ionizing Dose (TID) defects that lead to anomalous performance of space microelectronics. This knowledge could provide mitigation of latent damage to cold electronics, providing extended lifetimes in high radiation space environments.

To enhance power systems performance and reliability when operating in extreme environment, we must improve its understanding of materials design principles, the physics and engineering of parts and instrument damage. These new insights have the potential to reveal governing adverse effects for which we must prepare, diagnose, or respond, in critical situations during a mission. They may even illuminate benefits that might provide additional degrees of freedom in designing superior solid state devices for energy transduction when considering operation under extremes both of temperature (hot and cold) and total ionizing dose (TID). We anticipate that bringing this new approach based on non-equilibrium thermodynamics to the community of high-voltage silicon parts specialists and solid-state thermal-to-electric converters will provide unique insights not apparent by any other method that would be eventually applicable to the science exploration of Venus and the outer planets.

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