Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Nanoscale Science and Engineering


Nanoscale Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xii, 106 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Nathaniel C Cady

Committee Members

Alain C Diebold, Hassaram Bakhru, James R Lloyd, Joseph E Van Nostrand


Displacement damage, Ionization damage, Oxygen vacancies, Radiation effects, Resistive memory (RRAM), Tantalum oxide, Metal oxide semiconductors, Nonvolatile random-access memory, Tantalum oxides, Radiation hardening

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering | Electrical and Electronics | Nuclear


There is an increasing need for radiation-hardened electronics as space programs grow in number and scope. Scientific interest in long-term exploration, particularly in high-radiation environments such as Europa, as well as commercial interest in establishing permanent outposts, requires high tolerance of radiation effects. A flash memory device might survive for several years in low Earth orbit, but only a few days in orbit around Europa due to the extremely high levels of radiation encountered there. Meanwhile, commercial interests, including asteroid mining and building a base on the moon or Mars would require electronic systems that could survive for long periods of time, or indefinitely, in each location. Flash memories are suitable for multi-year operation in low Earth orbit due to shielding of cosmic rays by Earth’s magnetic field. However, long-term missions beyond low Earth orbit have higher radiation requirements, which may not be suitable for even rad-hardened flash memories.