2D Particle-in-Cell Simulation

Realistic 2D Particle-in-Cell simulations of charged particle dynamics in low pressure capacitively coupled radio frequency plasmas

Capacitively coupled plasmas (CCPs) are widely used as surface etching, deposition and sputtering devices in the microelectronics industry due to their simple geometry and their ability to generate large area and radially uniform plasmas. Due to these important applications, a good insight into the plasma behavior in CCP discharges is highly desirable.

PIC/MCC (Particle-in-Cell/Monte Carlo) simulation is an important method for investigations of CCP discharges, since they include all kinetics effects. Nowadays, most PIC/MCC simulations for CCPs are done in a 1D geometry and only a few 2D simulations were reported. 1D PIC/MCC simulations can reveal most of the physics in CCPs if the chamber radius is much larger than the electrode gap and lateral non-uniformities are negligible. However, some important characteristics of application relevant CCPs are inherently two dimensional. For example, geometrically asymmetric reactors, the uniformity of large area CCPs, CCP discharges with structured electrode etc. can only be treated correctly in two dimensional simulations.

Moreover, plasma-surface interactions strongly affect the discharge characteristics in low pressure CCP discharges. Therefore, secondary electron emission (SEE) induced by different particle species at boundary surfaces must be included realistically in the simulations to ensure accurate results. By using GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) based 2D electrostatic PIC/MCC simulation, this project aims on the understanding of 2D space resolved electron dynamics and charged particle distribution functions at boundary surfaces of CCPs for different reactor geometries, realistic ion and electron induced SEECs, different types of tailored voltage waveforms, and structured electrodes, etc.