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Nuclear & Plasma Sciences Society

Distinguished Lectures

Dr. Daniel Fleetwood

Vanderbilt University Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


1/f Noise: History, Legend, Myth

Low-frequency (1/f) noise was discovered in 1925 and is observed in a remarkable number of diverse cosmological, biological, economic, and electronic systems. It has also been found in music and speech, dynamics of sandpiles and avalanches, automotive and computer-network traffic flow, and statistics of earthquakes, floods, and other natural phenomena. A remarkable diversity of theories of 1/f noise has been developed, ranging from the demonstrably false (but popular) to the correct and useful. After decades of controversy, the noise of many technologically-relevant microelectronic devices can now understood at the atomic level via experimental and computational methods. Examples will be presented for 1/f noise in Si MOS transistors, AlGaN/GaN HEMTs, and MOSFETs based on 2D materials. Prospects for generalizing ideas that work in electronics to other systems will be discussed.

Moore’s Law and Radiation Effects on Microelectronics

50 years ago Gordon Moore postulated that the number of components in an integrated circuit would double every 1-2 years. This trend still holds, making it one of the longest, sustained geometric progressions in the history of the industrialized world, enabling revolutions in computing and in virtually every aspect of technology that is enabled or enhanced by computing. Transistor dimensions have decreased from tens of microns ~ 10 nanometers over this time period. In this presentation, we will examine the effects of Moore’s Law size and voltage scaling of transistors and integrated circuits on the vulnerability of microelectronics to ionizing radiation effects in near-Earth space and terrestrial applications. We will also discuss limitations that these vulnerabilities place on future highly-scaled integrated circuit technologies.


Dan Fleetwood received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1984. He joined Sandia National Laboratories in 1984 as a Member of the Technical Staff. In 1990, he was named a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. Dan accepted a position as Professor of Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in 1999, and holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Physics. In 2001-2003 he served as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Engineering. In 2003 he was named Chairman of Vanderbilt’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and in 2009 he was named Olin H. Landreth Chair in Engineering. Dan is author or co-author of more than 500 publications on radiation effects and low frequency noise, which have been cited more than 18,000 times (Google Scholar). He received the 2009 IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Merit Award, the society’s highest technical honor, and is a Fellow of IEEE and the American Physical Society.

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