Electronic devices are susceptible to damage from radiation, potentially cosmic radiation and even ultraviolet radiation. A study using spectroscopy reveals that the amount of optical damage, as opposed to structural damage, that can be caused may be more than ten times greater than studies suggested.
“These are somewhat new ideas, especially in my opinion the concept of ‘optical damage’ versus ‘structural damage’ where as people normally focus on the later, I believe the former is a very much unexplored area with important implications for actual, real, operating nanodevices,” research leader Andrew Steigerwald of Vanderbilt University told me.
“Considering that, I hope in the future that our results can be extended to other materials (e.g. silicon) and perhaps coupled with a sensitive microscopy technique so that we can compare spectroscopy results with mapping of electronic states.”
Steigerwald, A., Hmelo, A.B., Varga, K., Feldman, L.C. & Tolk, N. (2012). Determination of optical damage cross-sections and volumes surrounding ion bombardment tracks in GaAs using coherent acoustic phonon spectroscopy, Journal of Applied Physics, 112 (1) DOI: 10.1063/1.4732072