skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on March 28, 2019

Title: Modeling physical vapor deposition of energetic materials

Morphology and microstructure of organic explosive films formed using physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes strongly depends on local surface temperature during deposition. Currently, there is no accurate means of quantifying the local surface temperature during PVD processes in the deposition chambers. This study focuses on using a multiphysics computational fluid dynamics tool, STARCCM+, to simulate pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) deposition. The PETN vapor and solid phase were simulated using the volume of fluid method and its deposition in the vacuum chamber on spinning silicon wafers was modeled. The model also included the spinning copper cooling block where the wafers are placed along with the chiller operating with forced convection refrigerant. Implicit time-dependent simulations in two- and three-dimensional were performed to derive insights in the governing physics for PETN thin film formation. PETN is deposited at the rate of 14 nm/s at 142.9 °C on a wafer with an initial temperature of 22 °C. The deposition of PETN on the wafers was calculated at an assumed heat transfer coefficient (HTC) of 400 W/m 2 K. This HTC proved to be the most sensitive parameter in determining the local surface temperature during deposition. Previous experimental work found noticeable microstructural changes with 0.5 mmmore » fused silica wafers in place of silicon during the PETN deposition. This work showed that fused silica slows initial wafer cool down and results in ~10 °C difference for the surface temperature at 500 μm PETN film thickness. It was also found that the deposition surface temperature is insensitive to the cooling power of the copper block due to the copper block's very large heat capacity and thermal conductivity relative to the heat input from the PVD process. Future work should incorporate the addition of local stress during PETN deposition. Lastly, based on simulation results, it is also recommended to investigate the impact of wafer surface energy on the PETN microstructure and morphology formation.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101; 662402
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 36; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101
American Vacuum Society
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1430143