SBIR Phase I: Advanced Modeling of Plasma Discharges and Plasma Surface Chemistry on Unstructured Computational Grids

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Solitcitation Year:
Solicitation Number:
NSF 07-551
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
Remcom Inc
315 S. Allen St, Suite 222, State College, PA, 16801
Hubzone Owned:
Woman Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Moss
 (814) 861-1299
Business Contact
 Gregory Moss
Title: MS
Phone: (814) 861-1299
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate the feasibility of developing and implementing computational algorithms to study a broad range of plasma discharge and plasma surface processes. New algorithms will be based on a fully kinetic description of plasmas such that electrons, ions, and/or neutrals will be individually tracked with proper weighting techniques applied. The computational approach will be based on Monte Carlo methods which will be combined with XccelerateTM, Remcom's particle-in-cell (PIC) and finite integration (FIT) solver currently under development. Taking into account the limitations of the current methods available, a comprehensive list of relevant plasma/gas and plasma/surface chemical reactions will be constructed to form a foundation and scope of the project. Research code will be developed to study the accuracy and computational expense of the combined PIC/FIT/Monte Carlo solver. If the computational expense proves prohibitive, parallelization and hardware acceleration techniques will be investigated. The Phase I project will determine the feasibility of implementing a plasma processing code which provides computational solutions for a wide range of plasma discharge and processing applications. The broader impact/commercial potential from this technology will be the creation of simulation software for plasma processing. Plasma processing is widely utilized in the manufacturing of semiconductors and integrated circuits as well as being a critical component of material science and nanotechnology applications. These fields will continue to expand in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, even after many years of research, the theoretical understanding of plasma processing lags behind the practical application, and industry relies largely on trial and error techniques in determining their manufacturing processes. The overall goal of the project is to provide plasma processing physicists with a comprehensive software package which will provide a full range of numerical solutions with an easy to use graphical user interface (GUI) and powerful result visualization capabilities. This contribution will allow industries to streamline their operations by increasing theoretical understanding prior to the manufacturing stage and reducing man-hours spent developing complex in-house computational algorithms. In addition, it is also expected that the completed project will receive attention from various government research labs and provide an excellent tool for academic teaching and research. As there are no current commercial software packages available which provide in depth analysis of plasma chemistry and processing, the market size and commercialization potential of the completed project will be considerable.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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