Lattice Boltzmann simulations for technological plasma discharges

Barrett, R. and Diver, D. (2001) Lattice Boltzmann simulations for technological plasma discharges. Bulletin of the American Physical Society,

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Simulations of discharges in plasma reactors using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) are presented, and their significance for determining the uniformity of the sheath and surface processes are discussed. In previous studies [1] we successfully applied the LBM to the evolution of the neutral component of weakly ionised processing plasmas, and examined the influence of the neutrals on the charged species (modelled crudely assuming ambipolar diffusion with a collisional drag term), finding a significant effect on the sheath properties, and hence on the processing characteristics, in certain ranges of the discharge parameters. Here we extend these simulations, employing a much more realistic model for the charged species: we solve for the ion and electron densities and the potential self-consistently using an efficient, implicit scheme. The difference between this work and previous results using a similar approach is that we include the collisional coupling to the moving neutral gas (whose flow is determined using the LBM). This more accurate treatment of the plasma component allows a detailed, quantitative analysis of the plasma evolution to be made. In processing plasmas the nature of the sheath above the substrate is of crucial importance in determining the number flux and energies of ions delivered to the substrate. With this in mind we use our simulations to examine the impact of the neutral flow and other factors on the sheath characteristics and uniformity. Potential limitations of these simulations are discussed and further generalisations of this work are outlined. [1] Barrett, R.K., Wade, N.S. and Diver, D.A. (2000) phSimulating fluid flow in industrial plasma reactors, submitted.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:American Physical Society, 54th Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference 9-12 October 2001 Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barrett, Mr Richard and Diver, Professor Declan
Authors: Barrett, R., and Diver, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Bulletin of the American Physical Society
Publisher:American Physical Society

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