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Comsol has announced the release of the Plasma Module for researchers, engineers and experimentalists in the field of plasma science to model non-equilibrium discharges.

Based on Comsol Multiphysics simulation software, the Plasma Module provides tools for the study of low-temperature plasma.

Target application areas utilising plasma include light sources, semiconductor processes, surface coating and medical sterilisation.

The module is accompanied by a suite of tutorial and industry relevant models that serve as both instructional examples and a foundation for future work.

‘We use multiphysics technology in the Plasma Module to solve the complex interaction between the electromagnetic fields and charged particles that collectively constitute plasma,’ said Dan Smith, lead developer of the Plasma Module with Comsol.

‘Users will be able to turn to simulation for a wide range of plasma applications that will reduce the need for costly experiments and increase productivity,’ he added.

Low-temperature plasma represents the amalgamation of fluid mechanics, reaction engineering, physical kinetics, heat transfer, mass transfer and electromagnetics.

The net result is a true multiphysics problem involving advanced couplings between the different physics.

The Plasma Module features application-specific physics interfaces that automatically implement the complicated coupling between each of the components that make up plasma.

There are specialised modelling interfaces for the most common types of plasma reactors, including inductively coupled plasma (ICP), DC discharges, wave heated discharges (microwave plasma) and capacitively coupled plasma (CCP).

Each of the interfaces can be customised, modified and extended by the user.

Modelling the interaction between the plasma and an external electrical circuit is an important part of understanding the electrical characteristics of a discharge.

The Plasma Module provides tools to add circuit elements directly to a 1D, 2D or 3D model.

Alternatively, users can import an existing Spice netlist into the model.

The plasma chemistry is specified either by loading in sets of collision cross sections from a file, or by adding reactions and species directly in the user interface.

The module includes a set of fully documented models of: capacitively coupled plasma (CCP); microwave plasma; DC discharge; dielectric barrier discharges (DBD); reactive gas generator; thermal plasma; the Gaseous Electronics Conference (GEC) reference cell; and Boltzmann analysis of swarm data.

‘The Plasma Module combines the Comsol Multiphysics user interface with industrial strength algorithms and numerical methods,’ said Smith.

‘This results in a product that can handle arbitrarily complicated industrial and academic problems,’ he added.

Comsol

COMSOL Multiphysics® is a software environment for the modeling and simulation of any physics-based system. A particular strength is its ability to account for multiphysics phenomena. Optional modules add discipline-specific tools for acoustics, batteries and fuel cells, chemical engineering, earth science, electromagnetics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, MEMS, plasma, and structural analysis.

COMSOL Multiphysics® is a software environment for the modelling and simulation of any physics-based system. A particular strength is its ability to account for multiphysics phenomena. Optional modules add discipline-specific tools for acoustics, batteries and fuel cells, chemical engineering, earth science, electromagnetics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, MEMS, plasma, and structural analysis.

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