U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

The Effect of Radiation on Electronics and Materials


University of New Mexico

Course Name:

The Effect of Radiation on Electronics and Materials


Tim Koeth, Amber Johnson and Brian Beaudoin, University of Maryland; Heather Quinn, Los Alamos National Lab

Purpose and Audience
In recent years, many accelerators have been upgrading their existing infrastructures, including upgrading electronics and changing the design of materials around the accelerator.  The primary and ancillary radiation environments of the accelerator can affect these new electronics and materials.  The purpose of this course is to instruct students in the effects of radiation on analog and digital electronics (such as high-voltage power MOSFETs, analog-to-digital converters, memories, microprocessors, and field-programmable gate arrays), materials and accelerator components (such as superconducting magnets and permanent magnets, seals, etc.) so that problematic situations can be predicted and mitigated such that hazards can be avoided.  The intended audience for this course includes accelerator physicists, engineers, accelerator project managers, and radiation protection professionals who are interested in the effects of radiation on accelerator electronics and materials.

Undergraduate background in physical science or engineering with mathematical background of at least Calculus I & II.  Having attended the USPAS course "Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab" is not required, but recommended. 

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they meet the course prerequisites or have equivalent experience.

Students will learn the fundamental types of radiation, their interactions with matter and their subsequent effects, which lead to damage.  Students will gain practical knowledge about radiation effects in electronics and materials present at particle accelerators of all types, energies and species.  Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify radio-sensitive materials and will be able to criticize plans for upgrades and new facilities designs.  Radiation damage mitigation methods will also be taught.

Instructional Method
Course will consist of a series of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and homework sets that will include computer-based lab homework.  The final exam will consist of team-based projects presented on during the final day of the course.

Course Content
This course will begin with radiation fundamentals and sources of alpha, beta, gamma, neutron and other particles of all energies.  The course will quickly develop the fundamental processes in which these radiations interact with material and the specific types of damage induced.  The course will then move into practical effects of radiation damage on electronics and materials. The impact on accelerators components and systems will be investigated. The effect of low-energy neutron phenomena on electronics and materials will be a focus in the class.  State of the art issues will be discussed, such as understanding the effect of dose rate on the resulting damage, as well as other environmental effects.

In addition to fundamental effects and calculations, the instructors will provide simple computational tools that can be used in the field or at the students’ home facility.    

In place of a final exam, the class will design, analyze, and model the effect of radiation on a small system and provide the results in an oral presentation on the last day.

Reading Requirements
Required Reading: “Atoms, Radiation, and Radiation Protection” by James E. Turner, Third, Completely Revised and Enlarged Edition, Wiley-VCH (2007).

Additional material (to be provided by the USPAS) will include excerpts from  "Fundamentals of Radiation Materials Science: Metals and Alloys" 2nd ed. (2017 Edition) by Gary S. Was, and "Radiation Effects on Embedded Systems", by Raoul Velazco (Editor), Pascal Fouillat (Editor), Ricardo Reis (Editor), and “Introductory Nuclear Physics”, by Kenneth S. Krane, and “Radiation Detection & Measurement”, by G. Knoll.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, homework assignments, and final project.

University of New Mexico course number: ECE 595-009, 012, 015
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963, "U.S. Particle Accelerator School"
MIT course number: 8.790, "Accelerator Physics"