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Ion-Photon Emission Microscope (IPEM)

R & D 100 image  Ion Electron Emission Microscope team image

An R&D 100 award was earned for an exploratory ion beam system called the Ion-Photon Emission Microscope or IPEM. The system was invented and patented by Barney Doyle (1111), and the award nomination was submitted jointly with Mike Mellon of Quantar Technologies, which is marketing this invention. Also included on the award are Paolo Rossi of the University of Padova, Italy, and Floyd Del McDaniel of the University of North Texas, who both worked with Barney during sabbaticals at Sandia on the development of the IPEM. This is Barney's third R&D 100 award, and the Radiation-Solid Interactions department's fifth.

microscope image The IPEM allows scientists and engineers to microscopically study the effects of single ions in air on semiconductors, semiconductor devices, and biological cells without having to focus the beam. The technique determines the position at which an individual ion enters the surface of a sample by projecting at high magnification the light made by each ion onto a position sensitive detector that is sensitive to single photons; thus, focusing a beam is unnecessary.

Using MeV energy ions from an accelerator or radioactive source, IPEM is capable of mapping charge collection and other single-ion induced effects, such as logic upsets, in semiconductor and/or micro-electronic devices at a few micron resolution. Since the full-field microscope utilizes light produced by the ions, IPEM can be performed in air or in vacuum. This added flexibility is invaluable for studies involving in-vivo analysis of ion-effects in single cells and for Radiation Effects Microscopy on large cyclotrons, where experiments are normally performed in air.

The IPEM's capabilities are identical with traditional single-ion nuclear microprobe analysis, but expensive accelerators normally required can be avoided through use of radioactive sources.

The IPEM has already beed used to study incomplete charge induction in Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) structures.

Future applications include terrestrial soft error mapping in commercial ICs, and Radiation Effects Microscopy of hardened ICs using GeV-energy ions from large cyclotrons.

Point of Contact: Barney Doyle, Sandia National Laboratories, NM


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