Achieving large-scale kinetic modeling is a crucial task for the development and optimization of modern plasma devices. With the trend of decreasing pressure in applications, such as plasma etching, kinetic simulations are necessary to self-consistently capture the particle dynamics. The standard, explicit, electrostatic, momentum-conserving particle-in-cell method suffers from restrictive stability constraints on spatial cell size and temporal time step, requiring resolution of the electron Debye length and electron plasma period, respectively. This results in a very high computational cost, making the technique prohibitive for large volume device modeling. We investigate the direct implicit algorithm and the explicit energy conserving algorithm as alternatives to the standard approach, both of which can reduce computational cost with a minimal (or controllable) impact on results. These algorithms are implemented into the well-tested EDIPIC-2D and LTP-PIC codes, and their performance is evaluated via 2D capacitively coupled plasma discharge simulations. The investigation reveals that both approaches enable the utilization of cell sizes larger than the Debye length, resulting in a reduced runtime, while incurring only minor inaccuracies in plasma parameters. The direct implicit method also allows for time steps larger than the electron plasma period; however, care must be taken to avoid numerical heating or cooling. It is demonstrated that by appropriately adjusting the ratio of cell size to time step, it is possible to mitigate this effect to an acceptable level.
Direct implicit and explicit energy-conserving particle-in-cell methods for modeling of capacitively coupled plasma devices
Haomin Sun, Soham Banerjee, Sarveshwar Sharma, Andrew Tasman Powis, Alexander V. Khrabrov, Dmytro Sydorenko, Jian Chen, Igor D. Kaganovich; Direct implicit and explicit energy-conserving particle-in-cell methods for modeling of capacitively coupled plasma devices. Phys. Plasmas 1 October 2023; 30 (10): 103509. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0160853
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