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When radiation strikes a semiconductor, ionization occur so that the charge carriers from the valence band is transferred to the conduction band, which increases the conductivity of the material. This may lead to small leakage currents and surges in the circuit. A common name for these phenomena, or disruption to the electronics, are called single event effects (SEE), caused by a single (single) high-energy particle.

An example is when radiation induced currents from the electron-hole pair, changes the state of a memory circuit, e.g. from ’1 ‘To ’0′. This can lead to loss of data, program or a program crash. Even if a data error occurs, the circuit itself intact (so-called soft errors). Occasionally, a current is induced in the circuit, which in turn can lead to overheating if the operating voltage is switched off. In such MOSFETs, the voltage between drain and source exceed the breakdown voltage, which in turn means that the circuit can be damaged by the high current.