Review Article Open Access

Multi-Timescale Microscopic Theory for Radiation Degradation of Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices

Danhong Huang1, Fei Gao2, D.A. Cardimona1, C.P. Morath1 and V.M. Cowan1
  • 1 Air Force Research Laboratory, United States
  • 2 University of Michigan, United States


A multi-timescale hybrid model is proposed to study microscopically the degraded performance of electronic devices, covering three individual stages of radiation effects studies, including ultra-fast displacement cascade, intermediate defect stabilization and cluster formation, as well as slow defect reaction and migration. Realistic interatomic potentials are employed in molecular-dynamics calculations for the first two stages up to 100 ns as well as for the system composed of layers with thicknesses of hundreds of times the lattice constant. These quasi-steady-state results for individual layers are input into a rate-diffusion theory as initial conditions to calculate the steady-state distribution of point defects in a mesoscopic-scale layered-structure system, including planar biased dislocation loops and spherical neutral voids, on a much longer time scale. Assisted by the density-functional theory for specifying electronic properties of point defects, the resulting spatial distributions of these defects and clusters are taken into account in studying the degradation of electronic and optoelectronic devices, e.g., carrier momentum-relaxation time, defect-mediated non-radiative recombination, defect-assisted tunneling of electrons and defect or charged-defect Raman scattering as well. Such theoretical studies are expected to be crucial in fully understanding the physical mechanism for identifying defect species, performance degradations in field-effect transistors, photo-detectors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells and in the development of effective mitigation methods during their microscopic structure design stages.

Space Science International
Volume 3 No. 1, 2015, 3-27


Submitted On: 13 January 2015 Published On: 15 June 2015

How to Cite: Huang, D., Gao, F., Cardimona, D., Morath, C. & Cowan, V. (2015). Multi-Timescale Microscopic Theory for Radiation Degradation of Electronic and Optoelectronic Devices. Space Science International, 3(1), 3-27.

  • 2 Citations



  • Radiation Effects in Semiconductor Devices
  • Radiation-Induced Defects in Semiconductors
  • Radiation-Induced Degradation of Semiconductor Device Performance