From Detailed Simulation to Model Reduction: Development of Numerical Tools for a Plasma Processing Application
Adomaitis, Raymond A.
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Low pressure plasma processing is a key step in manufacturing integrated circuits, used both for etching and for enhancing thin film deposition. The plasma discharge reactor systems are characterized by a large number of adjustable parameters and poorly understood transport and reaction mechanisms. This has motivated the vigorous development of models and full scale simulators in the past decade to study various aspects of plasma processing. <p> To increase the utility of existing simulators, model reduction methods must be used to extract the dominant spatial characteristics of the discharge; numerically efficient spectral projection methods are then used to generated the reduced model. These practical needs motivated the development of a set of simulation tools that provide a framework for process simulation, model reduction, and analysis of simulator predictions. <p> The goals of this thesis were to build this framework by identifying the computationally common elements of semiconductor device manufacturing process simulation, model reduction, and analysis methods, and to test these tools on the difficult problem of RF plasma simulation. The simulation tools were developed as a library of MATLAB functions; the library and demonstration scripts have been distributed through the MWRtools project website.