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Primeur weekly 2019-07-22

Focus

EuroHPC Research and Innovation calls open July 25 with a total budget of 95 million euro ...

Quantum computing

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material ...

Bristol awarded GBP 8,4 million to strengthen quantum research programmes ...

Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing - with qudits ...

Fujitsu harnesses Quantum-inspired Digital Annealer technology to optimize output efficiency in power generation for renewable energy devices ...

Quantum photonics by serendipity ...

Focus on Europe

Hungary joins Italian pre-exascale EuroHPC consortium ...

Middleware

SUSE joins the iRODS Consortium ...

Hardware

NSF awards $10 million to SDSC to deploy 'Expanse' supercomputer ...

GRC announces licensing agreement with Nihon Form Services to tailor GRC's data centre immersion cooling technology for the Japanese market ...

High Performance Computing (HPC) arrives at the Edge of Space ...

Arm Flexible Access gives chip designers the freedom to experiment and test before they invest ...

Supermicro brings unprecedented performance and configurability to the intelligent edge for new security, 5G, and AI solutions ...

SwiftStack joins NVIDIA Partner Network ...

Intel and SAP broaden their technology partnership to power enterprises' digital transformation ...

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to host Bridges-2 supercomputers at Next Tier Connect ...

Applications

HPC4Energy Innovation Programme announces first awards for public/private partnerships ...

Atos orchestrates AURAGEN's genomic sequencing calculation solution ...

Who's using Argonne's user facilities? ...

Predicting material properties with quantum Monte Carlo ...

NERSC hosts first 'GPUs for Science' Workshop ...

First Corones Award goes to NERSC computer scientist ...

HPC4Manufacturing project aims at improving thin-film processes used in LED lights ...

Dirty bomb simulator prepares responders ...

LHC experiments present new results on rare Higgs phenomena at 2019 EPS-HEP conference ...

RIT professor honoured with Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers ...

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune ...

The Cloud

Atos becomes a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) ...

HPC4Manufacturing project aims at improving thin-film processes used in LED lights


A single wafer process chamber used by Applied Materials to perform physical vapour deposition on any type of wafer, including the sapphire substrates used in the HPC4Manufacturing collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Photo: courtesy of Applied Materials.
18 Jul 2019 Livermore - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers are working with semiconductor chip manufacturer Applied Materials to improve a process for depositing thin-film materials on wafers that are used in high-efficiency LED lights and other products. The Department of Energy's High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Manufacturing) programme is funding the effort.
A top-down rendering of a wafer processing system. Illustration courtesy of Applied Materials.

Reliably creating thin films with favorable electrical, optical, structural and chemical properties is an important problem in manufacturing. One possible technique for depositing thin films with controlled properties is high-powered impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS), which has yet to be optimized because modelling magnetron plasma discharges at relevant densities is a "grand challenge computing problem", researchers said.

Magnetron sputtering involves repeatedly bombarding a "target" with high-density plasma - containing ions and electrons, causing material to break from the target and "sputter" onto a substrate, such as a silicon wafer. In HiPIMS, a variant of magnetron sputtering, the plasma is typically high-energy and pulsed. The main advantage to HiPIMS, researchers said, is that they can ionize more of the sputtered material, giving them better control over uniformity and density of the resulting film.

Using LLNL's high-performance computing systems Cab and Quartz with a commercial code called Chicago, researchers have been able to model how the plasma behaves during the HiPIMS process in three dimensions, bringing a predictive capability to the process and helping scientists determine how reactor geometry can be tailored to get the properties and uniformity that industry requires for optimal device performance.

"Essentially, having a model like this you can learn everything you want to know about the plasma", stated LLNL researcher Andrea Schmidt, principal investigator on the project. "You can track things on the atomic level, where they came from, where they’re going to. These magnetron plasmas can have complex magnetic field structures. Applied Materials has a reactor they think is secret sauce - we could look into other geometries and see if we can tweak it to get what they want without trying all these configurations experimentally."

Lawrence Livermore and Applied Materials entered into a cooperative research and development agreement in summer 2017 and the project started shortly thereafter. Miller Allen, the principal investigator on the project for Applied Materials, said by using the Chicago code and LLNL's HPC resources, the team was able to obtain a close match of the modeled voltage and current to the company's experimental results, at realistic plasma powers, for the first time.

"The collaboration with the LLNL plasma modeling experts has been very exciting", Miller Allen stated. "Previously, we have only been able to model 3D geometries at two to three orders of magnitude below the actual operating range due to the computational complexity and computing cost of modelling dense plasmas. Through the HPC4Mfg collaboration, we have gained immediate insights into the plasma initiation, structure and evolution that are directly applicable to our future chamber design."

Initially, the plasma models weren’t meeting expectations, Andrea Schmidt said, but eventually the modelling team, including Ihor Holod and Tony Link, got the model running reliably, first in 2D and then in 3D, using deposition rates to compare the model to experimental data.

Ihor Holod said the result is a unique capability for 3D modelling HiPIMS with realistic plasma parameters, device size and operating voltage. Dynamics and interactions of multiple particle species, including electrons, noble gas neutrals and ions, as well as sputtered material in neutral and ionized states also are considered.

"After putting all the pieces of physics and numerics together, and running a long expensive simulation, we were really excited to see the agreement with experimental measurements in terms of current evolution and sputtering efficiency", Ihor Holod stated. "Kinetic simulation has provided us with the insight of plasma behaviour. This allows us to see the evolution of sputtered material distribution within the magnetron chamber, leading to possible optimizations by adjusting the geometry of the device. Additionally, understanding the dynamics of magnetized plasma in the vicinity of magnetron's target can lead to potential improvement of sputtering efficiency."

Ihor Holod said the biggest challenge of the work was identifying the proper parameters for multiple complementary processes, resulting in an integrated current to be matched with the experiment. Another challenge was choosing the numerical parameters, as the teams needed to resolve a very narrow sheath region near the surface of the cathode, where ions and electrons accelerate to energies corresponding to the operating voltage.

The research team completed the first phase of the project and was recently awarded funding from DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office, through the HPC4Mfg programme, for a second phase. This follow-on project will look at studying a wider range of HiPIMS discharge phenomena, including 3D plasma modelling of a larger magnetron and plasma volume, longer deposition times and modelling the sputter yield of reacted compounds.
Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2019-07-22

Focus

EuroHPC Research and Innovation calls open July 25 with a total budget of 95 million euro ...

Quantum computing

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material ...

Bristol awarded GBP 8,4 million to strengthen quantum research programmes ...

Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing - with qudits ...

Fujitsu harnesses Quantum-inspired Digital Annealer technology to optimize output efficiency in power generation for renewable energy devices ...

Quantum photonics by serendipity ...

Focus on Europe

Hungary joins Italian pre-exascale EuroHPC consortium ...

Middleware

SUSE joins the iRODS Consortium ...

Hardware

NSF awards $10 million to SDSC to deploy 'Expanse' supercomputer ...

GRC announces licensing agreement with Nihon Form Services to tailor GRC's data centre immersion cooling technology for the Japanese market ...

High Performance Computing (HPC) arrives at the Edge of Space ...

Arm Flexible Access gives chip designers the freedom to experiment and test before they invest ...

Supermicro brings unprecedented performance and configurability to the intelligent edge for new security, 5G, and AI solutions ...

SwiftStack joins NVIDIA Partner Network ...

Intel and SAP broaden their technology partnership to power enterprises' digital transformation ...

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to host Bridges-2 supercomputers at Next Tier Connect ...

Applications

HPC4Energy Innovation Programme announces first awards for public/private partnerships ...

Atos orchestrates AURAGEN's genomic sequencing calculation solution ...

Who's using Argonne's user facilities? ...

Predicting material properties with quantum Monte Carlo ...

NERSC hosts first 'GPUs for Science' Workshop ...

First Corones Award goes to NERSC computer scientist ...

HPC4Manufacturing project aims at improving thin-film processes used in LED lights ...

Dirty bomb simulator prepares responders ...

LHC experiments present new results on rare Higgs phenomena at 2019 EPS-HEP conference ...

RIT professor honoured with Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers ...

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune ...

The Cloud

Atos becomes a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP) ...