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  1. Atomic oxygen patterning from a biomedical needle-plasma source

    A “plasma needle” is a cold plasma source operating at atmospheric pressure. Such sources interact strongly with living cells, but experimental studies on bacterial samples show that this interaction has a surprising pattern resulting in circular or annular killing structures. This paper presents numerical simulations showing that this pattern occurs because biologically active reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are produced dominantly where effluent from the plasma needle interacts with ambient air. A novel solution strategy is utilised coupling plasma produced neutral (uncharged) reactive species to the gas dynamics solving for steady state profiles at the treated biological surface. Numerical resultsmore » are compared with experimental reports corroborating evidence for atomic oxygen as a key bactericidal species. Surface losses are considered for interaction of plasma produced reactants with reactive solid and liquid interfaces. Atomic oxygen surface reactions on a reactive solid surface with adsorption probabilities above 0.1 are shown to be limited by the flux of atomic oxygen from the plasma. Interaction of the source with an aqueous surface showed hydrogen peroxide as the dominant species at this interface.« less
  2. Fusion Energy Sciences Exascale Requirements Review. An Office of Science review sponsored jointly by Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Fusion Energy Sciences, January 27-29, 2016, Gaithersburg, Maryland

    The additional computing power offered by the planned exascale facilities could be transformational across the spectrum of plasma and fusion research — provided that the new architectures can be efficiently applied to our problem space. The collaboration that will be required to succeed should be viewed as an opportunity to identify and exploit cross-disciplinary synergies. To assess the opportunities and requirements as part of the development of an overall strategy for computing in the exascale era, the Exascale Requirements Review meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) community was convened January 27–29, 2016, with participation from a broad range ofmore » fusion and plasma scientists, specialists in applied mathematics and computer science, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its major computing facilities. This report is a summary of that meeting and the preparatory activities for it and includes a wealth of detail to support the findings. Technical opportunities, requirements, and challenges are detailed in this report (and in the recent report on the Workshop on Integrated Simulation). Science applications are described, along with mathematical and computational enabling technologies. Also see for more information.« less
  3. Attenuation of wall disturbances in an electron cyclotron resonance oxygen–argon plasma using real time control

    Present practice in plasma-assisted semiconductor manufacturing specifies recipes in terms of inputs such as gas flow rates, power and pressure. However, ostensibly identical chambers running identical recipes may produce very different results. Extensive chamber matching, i.e., initial iterative, empirical tuning of the process recipe, which entails time-consuming, ex situ statistical analysis of process metrics such as etch depth, uniformity, anisotropy and selectivity, is required to ensure acceptable results. Once matched, chambers are run open loop and are thus sensitive to disturbances such as actuator drift, wall seasoning and substrate loading, which may impact negatively on process reproducibility. An alternative approach,more » which may obviate the need for chamber matching and reduce the sensitivity of process metrics to exogenous disturbances, would be to specify a recipe in terms of quantities such as active species densities, and to regulate these in real time by adjusting the inputs with a suitable control algorithm. In this work, real time control of an electron cyclotron resonance O{sub 2}/Ar plasma used for photoresist ashing has been implemented. The design of elementary, model-based algorithms for the control of the argon 750 and oxygen 844 line intensities measured by optical emission spectroscopy is described. Fluorination of the chamber walls by means of an SF{sub 6} plasma prior to ashing inhibits wall recombination of oxygen radicals resulting in an approximately 20% increase in ash rate in the open loop case. However, closed loop control almost completely attenuates the effect of fluorination, thus demonstrating the efficacy of the control algorithms in ensuring a reproducible ash rate in the face of a wall disturbance.« less
  4. Phase-resolved optical emission spectroscopy for an electron cyclotron resonance etcher

    Phase-resolved optical emission spectroscopy (PROES) is used for the measurement of plasma products in a typical industrial electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma etcher. In this paper, the PROES of oxygen and argon atoms spectral lines are investigated over a wide range of process parameters. The PROES shows a discrimination between the plasma species from gas phase and those which come from the solid phase due to surface etching. The relationship between the micro-wave and radio-frequency generators for plasma creation in the ECR can be better understood by the use of PROES.
  5. Real-time control of electron density in a capacitively coupled plasma

    Reactive ion etching (RIE) is sensitive to changes in chamber conditions, such as wall seasoning, which have a deleterious effect on process reproducibility. The application of real time, closed loop control to RIE may reduce this sensitivity and facilitate production with tighter tolerances. The real-time, closed loop control of plasma density with RF power in a capacitively coupled argon plasma using a hairpin resonance probe as a sensor is described. Elementary control analysis shows that an integral controller provides stable and effective set point tracking and disturbance attenuation. The trade off between performance and robustness may be quantified in termsmore » of one parameter, namely the position of the closed loop pole. Experimental results are presented, which are consistent with the theoretical analysis.« less
  6. One-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation of a current-free double layer in an expanding plasma

    A one-dimensional particle-in-cell code using Monte Carlo collision techniques (MCC/PIC) for both ions and electrons is used to simulate our earlier experimental results which showed that a current-free electric double layer (DL) can form in a plasma expanding along a diverging magnetic field. These results differ from previous experimental or simulation systems where the double layers are driven by a current or by imposed potential differences. Both experiment and simulation show accelerated ions with energies up to about 60 eV on the low potential side of the plasma. A new numerical method is added to the conventional PIC scheme tomore » simulate inductive electron heating, as distinct from the more common capacitively driven simulations. A loss process is introduced along the axis of the simulation to mimic the density decrease along the axis of an expanding plasma in a diverging magnetic field. The results from the MCC/PIC presented here suggest that the expansion rate compared to the ionization frequency is a critical parameter for the existence of the DL. For the DL to be absolutely current free, the source wall has to be allowed to charge: having both ends of the simulation at the same potential always resulted in a current flow. Also, the effect of the neutral pressure and of the size of the diffusion chamber are investigated. Finally we show that this particular type of DL has electrons in Boltzmann equilibrium and that it creates a supersonic ion beam.« less

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