Radiation dosimeter IC uses floating gate

March 23, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Integrated Circuits Malaga SL (Mallorca, Spain) has developed radiation dosimeters based on floating-gate technology to overcome certain drawbacks of more conventional radiation-sensitive field effect transistors (RadFETs).

The sensitivity of the floating gate dosimeter is 100 to 500 times better than RadFET technology, IC-Malaga claims.

Radiation measurements are necessary in applications such as nuclear safety, medical and aerospace engineering. However, RadFET dosimeters demand the use of specific manufacturing technologies for their fabrication, making it difficult to integrate the monitoring system monolithically in a conventional CMOS IC.

Comparison of RadFET and floating-gate IC dosimetry characteristics (*depending on RadFET). Source: IC-Malaga.

The floating-gate approach is based on the discharge of a floating capacitor connected to the gate of a MOS transistor. The result is an output signal whose frequency is proportional to the variation of the charge stored in the floating gate due to radiation.

IC-Malaga radiation dosimeter ICs offer a high sensitivity approach to the measurement of ionizing radiation (gamma and proton) in single chip.

Floating-gate sensors can be manufactured in standard CMOS processes, which allows the integration of the sensing unit together with additional circuits in the same IC. The additional circuits include a charging circuit for the floating capacitor, circuits for radiation sensor monitoring and signal processing, together with a serial communication block. As a result, radiation measurements are available in digital format.

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