Kinetic-Fluid Hybrid Plasma Model with Mesoscopic Plasma-Surface Interactions

Project: Research direct

Project Details


The plasma that is created in the hydrogen background gas in contemporary EUV lithography tools and the interaction of this plasma with the optical components and other surfaces in its vicinity, have a bearing on scanner lifetime and quality of operation. Numerical simulation is a valuable addition to experiments and theoretical studies in order to understand and optimize scanner design and operation. We propose the development of such simulation tool.
The major challenges in its development are the following: firstly, the plasma is highly transient and time scales ranging from nanoseconds to milliseconds must be dealt with. At the same time the length scales range from millimeters to one meter and the plasma species have energies ranging from ambient values up to the equivalent of one-million Kelvin. Secondly, the interaction of the plasma with its environment is a two-way process, which dictates the need for a simultaneous simulation of the volume plasma and the wall properties.
These problems will be dealt with by employing a unique threefold hybrid simulation scheme. The essence of such algorithm is that the simulation uses a fast (but less general) fluid description of the plasma, but switches to a more demanding kinetic (Monte Carlo) scheme when needed. The choice for either model will be allowed to depend independently on the moment in time, the region of space under consideration and the energy distributions of the types of particles. The model does an introspection of the model state that allows an automatic selection of the most appropriate algorithm. This approach is believed to result in a massive reduction of the simulation times. The surface interaction tool will feature plasma etching and deposition capabilities and be able to track the migration of charged species (electrons) across the surface.
The simulation tool will build on the PLASIMO simulation platform that has been developed at TU Eindhoven since the early 1990s. The resulting simulation tool will be practical for studying scanner lifetime issues, and such applications will be used for testing and benchmarking the tool. That said, the realization of this tool will have a bearing on mixed-regime simulation of low-temperature plasma simulation much more generally.
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/24




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