Soft errors are transient errors caused due to excess charge carriers induced primarily by external radiations in the semiconductor devices. Soft error phenomena could be used to detect thermal neutrons with a neutron monitoring/detection system by enhancing soft error occurrences in the memory devices. This way, one can convert all semiconductor memory devices into neutron detection systems. Such a device is being developed at The Pennsylvania State University and named Neutron Intercepting Silicon Chip (NISC). The NISC is envisioning a miniature, power efficient, and active/passive operation neutron sensor/detector system. NISC aims to achieve this goal by introducing 10B-enriched Borophosphosilicate Glass (BPSG) insulation layers in the semiconductor memories. In order to model and analyze the NISC, an analysis tool using Geant4 as the transport and tracking engine is developed for the simulation of the charged particle interactions in the semiconductor memory model, named NISC Soft Error Analysis Tool (NISCSAT). A simple model with 10B-enriched layer on top of the lumped silicon region is developed in order to represent the semiconductor memory node. Soft error probability calculations were performed via the NISCSAT with both single node and array configurations to investigate device scaling by using different node dimensions in the model. Mono-energetic, mono-directional thermal and fast neutrons are used as the neutron sources. Soft error contribution due to the BPSG layer is also investigated with different 10B contents and the results are presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-373
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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