FP7 Unione Europea

University of Padova

The University of Padova is one of the oldest in Europe (it was founded in 1222), and today it is still at the forefront of research and education with more than 60,000 students in 13 faculties.

The Department of Information Engineering (DEI) at UPD has developed a significant expertise in the field of radiation effects on electronic components in the last 15 years, as shown by the large and growing number of contributions to the most important international conferences in this sector and by the amount of published work in the IEEE – Transactions on Nuclear Science. The group has been strongly involved in the assessment of ionizing radiation effects on electronic components, ranging from single MOSFETs to full-size commercial non-volatile memories, and from small circuits to complex commercial FPGAs. This work has been carried out in the framework of several collaborations and Italian and European projects, with industrial and academic partners (to name a few STMicroeletronics, Numonyx, Philips, IMEC, CERN, ESA, NASA-JPL, etc). The radiation effects group at UNIPD takes advantage of the accelerator facilities installed at the INFN Legnaro National Laboratories, very close (10 km) the UPD site.

The group has been involved in several projects concerning reliability and radiation effects studies on electronics: 2001 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) Project: “Study of ionizing radiation effects on FPGA-based computing systems for space applications”; 2001 ASI Project: “Innovative high-efficiency switching converters and power devices for space applications”; 1997-1999 ASI Research project: “Study and realization of prototypes for advanced solar cells with triple junction for space applications”; Research activity in collaboration with ESA-ESTEC, Noordwjik, on the subject: “Radiation effects on non-volatile memories for space applications”, ongoing from September 2006; Research activity in collaboration with Clemson University, NC, USA, for the preparation of micro-dosimeters for satellites based on non-volatile memories, NASA experiment “DIME”, program “Living With a Star”, ongoing from July 2003; Research activity in collaboration with NASA-JPL concerning radiation effects on non-volatile memories.


Alessandro Paccagnella is Full Professor of Electronics at the University of Padova. His research activity has been directed to the study of different aspects of physics, technology, and reliability of semiconductor devices. In relation with this activity he spent some research periods at the University of California, San Diego, and at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York. At present, he coordinates the research activity of a group at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, working on CMOS devices and technology. His research work is focused on the study of ultra-thin gate dielectrics in MOS submicron devices, on the effects of plasma-based deposition and etching processes used to fabricate integrated circuits, on the damage induced by ionizing radiation and the corresponding measurement methods and techniques on single devices and integrated components, with emphasis on non-volatile memories and programmable logic devices.


He has chaired numerous sessions at the most important international conferences about ionizing radiation effects on electronics components. In the field of ionizing radiation effects on electronics components, AP has been co-organizer and chair of the scientific committee for RADECS2002, Padova, September 2002, the most important European conference in this domain.

In collaboration with the colleagues at the Department of Physics he has animated the research activity in the area of ionizing radiation effects in Padova, contributing to the birth of the first accelerated ion line to test electronic components at the Tandem accelerator at the INFN Legnaro National Laboratories. He has been responsible of several research projects, one of them having been a project sponsored by the Italian Space Agency ASI (2002) on the effects of ionizing radiation on programmable logic components, which was carried out in collaboration with the polytechnic of Turin.