Direct simulation Monte Carlo simulations of low pressure semiconductor plasma processing

L. A. Gochberg, T. Ozawa, H. Deng, D. A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The two widely used plasma deposition tools for semiconductor processing are Ionized Metal Physical Vapor Deposition (IMPVD) of metals using either planar or hollow cathode magnetrons (HCM), and inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) deposition of dielectrics in High Density Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (HDP-CVD) reactors. In these systems, the injected neutral gas flows are generally in the transonic to supersonic flow regime. The Hybrid Plasma Equipment Model (HPEM) has been developed and is strategically and beneficially applied to the design of these tools and their processes. For the most part, the model uses continuum-based techniques, and thus, as pressures decrease below 10 mTorr, the continuum approaches in the model become questionable. Modifications have been previously made to the HPEM to significantly improve its accuracy in this pressure regime. In particular, the Ion Monte Carlo Simulation (IMCS) was added, wherein a Monte Carlo simulation is used to obtain ion and neutral velocity distributions in much the same way as in direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC). As a further refinement, this work presents the first steps towards the adaptation of full DSMC calculations to replace part of the flow module within the HPEM. Six species (Ar, Cu, Ar *, Cu *, Ar +, and Cu +) are modeled in DSMC. To couple SMILE as a module to the HPEM, source functions for species, momentum and energy from plasma sources will be provided by the HPEM. The DSMC module will then compute a quasi-converged flow field that will provide neutral and ion species densities, momenta and temperatures. In this work, the HPEM results for a hollow cathode magnetron (HCM) IMPVD process using the Boltzmann distribution are compared with DSMC results using portions of those HPEM computations as an initial condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-950
Number of pages6
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event26th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, RGD26 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jul 20 2008Jul 25 2008


  • DSMC
  • HPEM
  • Semiconductor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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