Semiconductors & ICs

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on semiconductors & ICs, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
FETs Based on Doped Polyaniline/Polyethylene Oxide Fibers

A family of experimental highly miniaturized field-effect transistors (FETs) is based on exploitation of the electrical properties of nanofibers of polyaniline/ polyethylene oxide (PANi/PEO) doped with camphorsulfonic acid. These polymer-based FETs have the potential for becoming building...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Waveguide Power-Amplifier Module for 80 to 150 GHz

A waveguide power-amplifier module capable of operating over the frequency range from 80 to 150 GHz has been constructed. The module comprises a previously reported power amplifier packaged in a waveguide housing that is compatible with WR-8 waveguides. (WR-8 is a standard waveguide size for the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Better Back Contacts for Solar Cells on Flexible Substrates

Improved low-resistance, semitransparent back contacts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed for solar photovoltaic cells that are made from thin films of I-III-VI2 semiconductor materials on flexible, high-temperature-resistant polyimide substrates or superstrates....

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Single-Chip T/R Module for 1.2 GHz

A single-chip CMOS-based (complementary-metal-oxide-semi-conductor-based) transmit/receive (T/R) module is being developed for L-band radar systems. Previous T/R module implementations required multiple chips employing different technologies (GaAs, Si, and others) combined with off-chip transmission lines and...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Three-Function Logic Gate Controlled by Analog Voltage

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that performs one of three different logic functions, depending on the level of an externally applied control voltage, Vsel •

Specifically, the circuit acts as

A...
Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Submicrosecond Power-Switching Test Circuit

A circuit that changes an electrical load in a switching time shorter than 0.3 microsecond has been devised. This circuit can be used in testing the regulation characteristics of power-supply circuits — especially switching power-converter circuits that are supposed to be able to provide...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
MMIC DHBT Common-Base Amplifier for 172 GHz

Figure 1 shows a single-stage monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifier in which the gain element is a double-heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) connected in common-base configuration. This amplifier, which has been demonstrated to function well at a frequency of 172 GHz, is...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Equipment for On-Wafer Testing From 220 to 325 GHz

A system of electronic instrumentation, constituting the equivalent of a two-port vector network analyzer, has been developed for use in on-wafer measurement of key electrical characteristics of semiconductor devices at frequencies from 220 to 325 GHz. A prior system designed according to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
PVM Enhancement for Beowulf Multiple-Processor Nodes

A recent version of the Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) computer program has been enhanced to enable use of multiple processors in a single node of a Beowulf system (a cluster of personal computers that runs the Linux operating system). A previous version of PVM had been enhanced by addition of...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Programs for Testing Processor-in-Memory Computing Systems

The Multithreaded Microbenchmarks for Processor-InMemory (PIM) Compilers, Simulators, and Hardware are computer programs arranged in a series for use in testing the performances of PIM computing systems, including compilers, simulators, and hardware. The programs at the beginning of the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Multiple Embedded Processors for Fault-Tolerant Computing

A fault-tolerant computer architecture has been conceived in an effort to reduce vulnerability to single-event upsets (spurious bit flips caused by impingement of energetic ionizing particles or photons). As in some prior fault-tolerant architectures, the redundancy needed for fault...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Apparatus for Precise Indium-Bump Bonding of Microchips

An improved apparatus has been designed and built for use in precise positioning and pressing of a microchip onto a substrate (which could, optionally, be another microchip) for the purpose of indium-bump bonding. The apparatus (see figure) includes the following:

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Flexible, Carbon-Based Ohmic Contacts for Organic Transistors

A low-temperature process for fabricating flexible, ohmic contacts for use in organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) has been developed. Typical drainsource contact materials used previously for OTFTs include (1) vacuum deposited noble metal contacts and (2) solution deposited...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Faster Evolution of More Multifunctional Logic Circuits

A modification in a method of automated evolutionary synthesis of voltage controlled multifunctional logic circuits makes it possible to synthesize more circuits in less time. Prior to the modification, the computations for synthesizing a four-function logic circuit by this method took...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
N-Type d Doping of High-Purity Silicon Imaging Arrays

A process for n-type (electron-donor) delta (d) doping has shown promise as a means of modifying back-illuminated image detectors made from n-doped high-purity silicon to enable them to detect high-energy photons (ultraviolet and x-rays) and low-energy charged particles (electrons and ions)....

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Making AlNx Tunnel Barriers Using a Low-Energy Nitrogen-Ion Beam

A technique based on accelerating positive nitrogen ions onto an aluminum layer has been demonstrated to be effective in forming thin (<2 nm thick) layers of aluminum nitride (AlNx) for use as tunnel barriers in Nb/Al-AlNx/Nb superconductor/ insulator/ superconductor (SIS)...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Making Wide-IF SIS Mixers With Suspended Metal-Beam Leads

A process that employs silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates and silicon (Si) micromachining has been devised for fabricating wide intermediate frequency band (wide-IF) superconductor/ insulator/ superconductor (SIS) mixer devices that result in suspended gold beam leads used for...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Mathematical Modeling of a Copper-Deposition System for Integrated Circuits

Advanced packaging techniques are the key to utilizing state-of-the-art microelectronic devices. The flip-chip method has become a cost-effective means of erasing many packaging and thermal issues that could spell disaster for high-density, high-power integrated circuits...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Stripline/Microstrip Transition in Multilayer Circuit Board

A stripline to microstrip transition has been incorporated into a multilayer circuit board that supports a distributed solid-state microwave power amplifier, for the purpose of coupling the microwave signal from a buried-layer stripline to a top-layer microstrip. The design of the...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Multifunctional Logic Gate Controlled by Supply Voltage

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that functions as a NAND gate at a power-supply potential (Vdd) of 3.3 V and as NOR gate for Vdd = 1.8 V. In the intermediate Vdd range of 1.8 to 3.3 V,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Multifunctional Logic Gate Controlled by Temperature

The figure is a schematic diagram of a complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuit that has been designed to function as a NAND gate at a temperature between 0 and 80 °C and as a NOR gate at temperatures from 120 to 200 °C. In the intermediate temperature range of 80 to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Improved Method of Manufacturing SiC Devices

The phrase, "common-layered architecture for semiconductor silicon carbide" ("CLASSiC") denotes a method of batch fabrication of microelectromechanical and semiconductor devices from bulk silicon carbide. CLASSiC is the latest in a series of related methods developed in recent years in continuing...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
LC Circuits for Diagnosing Embedded Piezoelectric Devices

A recently invented method of nonintrusively detecting faults in piezoelectric devices involves measurement of the resonance frequencies of inductor-capacitor (LC) resonant circuits. The method is intended especially to enable diagnosis of piezoelectric sensors, actuators, and...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
HEMT Frequency Doubler With Output at 300 GHz

An active frequency doubler in the form of an InP-based monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) containing a high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) has been demonstrated in operation at output frequencies in the vicinity of 300 GHz. This is the highest frequency HEMT doubler reported to...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Single-Chip FPGA Azimuth Pre-Filter for SAR

A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) on a single lightweight, low power integrated-circuit chip has been developed to implement an azimuth pre-filter (AzPF) for a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) system. The AzPF is needed to enable more efficient use of data-transmission and data-processing resources:...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Alumina or Semiconductor Ribbon Waveguides at 30 to 1,000 GHz

Ribbon waveguides made of alumina or of semiconductors (Si, InP, or GaAs) have been proposed as low-loss transmission lines for coupling electronic components and circuits that operate at frequencies from 30 to 1,000 GHz. In addition to low losses (and a concomitant ability to...

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