Inspection of Electronics Components for Cryogenic Temperature Operation
Electronics operating at cryogenic temperatures play a critical role in future science experiments and space exploration programs. The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) uses a cold electronics system for data taking. Specifically, it utilizes custom-designed Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). The main challenge is that these circuits will be immersed in liquid Argon and that they need to function for 20+ years without any access. Ensuring quality is critical, and issues may arise due to thermal stress, packaging, and manufacturing-related defects: if undetected, these could lead to long-term reliability and performance problems. This paper reports an investigation into non-destructive evaluation techniques to assess their potential use in a comprehensive quality control process during prototyping, testing, and commissioning of the DUNE cold electronics system. Scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) was used to investigate permanent structural changes in the ASICs associated with thermal cycling between room and cryogenic temperatures. Data are assessed using a correlation analysis, which can detect even minimal changes happening inside the ASICs.
This is a manuscript of an article published as Poonthottathil, Navaneeth, Frank Krennrich, Amanda Weinstein, Jonathan Eisch, Leonard J. Bond, Dan Barnard, Zhan Zhang, and Lucas W. Koester. "Inspection of Electronics Components for Cryogenic Temperature Operations." Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Diagnostics and Prognostics of Engineering Systems 4, no. 2 (2021): 024501. DOI: 10.1115/1.4049300. Posted with permission.