DEAR 118

Speaker Information

Allan Johnston


Space radiation produces electron-hole pairs in the high-quality insulators used in modern semiconductors. This talk discusses the mechanisms of charge generation, transport, and trapping that result in permanent damage in mainstream semiconductor devices.  Revisions to earlier models of charge generation are presented that explain the unexpected high sensitivity of bipolar linear circuits to radiation effects in the space environment.

Speaker Bio

Allan Johnston received B. S. and M. S. degrees in physics from the University of Washington in Seattle.  He joined Boeing Aerospace in 1965, specializing in radiation effects in microelectronics. He was the manager of the Microelectronics Research Lab at the Boeing High Technology Center from 1986-1992.

In 1992 he joined JPL as a Principal Staff Engineer, retiring in 2013 after supporting numerous NASA space programs, as well as leading research efforts in radiation effects on microelectronics and optoelectronics at JPL.  His technical interests include opto-electronics, single-event upset in microelectronics, low dose-rate effects, latchup, and radiation effects on highly scaled devices.

He was Technical Chairman of the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects conference (NSREC) in 1997, and General Chairman in 2003.  He received NSREC Meritorious Paper awards in 1984 and 1986, and the Outstanding Paper award in 1999.  He has published more than 100 papers, two book chapters, and authored a book, Reliability and Radiation Effects in Compound Semiconductors, published by World Scientific in 2010. He has given short courses on radiation effects at the NSREC, IRPS, and the European RADECS Conferences. He is a fellow of the IEEE, and is currently the chair of the Radiation Effects Committee of the NPSS AdCom that oversees the NSREC conferences.