Vacuum System Simulations Webinar and Videos
James Ransley November 1, 2012
Since I joined COMSOL in 2010 I’ve presented about half a dozen webinars. Last week we held a webinar on Vacuum System Simulations and it was definitely the most fun webinar to-date. Historically, simulation has not been used extensively in the vacuum industry, so I was nervous that there wouldn’t be much interest in such a specialized topic.
Once the event started I was relieved and excited that over 125 people joined the webinar. Many of the attendees tuned in from Europe, at 8pm local time. Nearly 40% of our webinar attendees had never used a simulation tool for vacuum applications. Only a third used simulation software on a monthly basis or more frequently. I was excited to see so much interest from a community that has not been used to doing simulation.
Both in my contact with our customers and in my previous position as a design engineer, I have seen the tremendous value that simulation tools add to the product design process. I am excited to see COMSOL breaking new ground in the field of vacuum simulation. Vacuum systems are expensive: a single tool usually costs tens of thousands of dollars, and they are often custom designed. Leveraging simulation tools in the design process really makes sense in this industry.
One of the things I love about being a developer with COMSOL is that occasionally I get to see some of the amazing things that our customers do with the software. I’m looking forward to seeing a new generation of vacuum engineers making an impact on their industry with COMSOL. The videos below show the demonstration that was a part of the webinar, which shows how to build a model of an ion implant vacuum system. Ion implantation is used extensively in the semiconductor industry to implant dopants into wafers. The dopant ions arrive at the wafer as an ion beam, which is accelerated through the vacuum system along a curved path by both electric and magnetic fields. When the beam strikes the wafer, the photoresist mask outgases, giving off a variety of organic compounds, which interact negatively with the beam itself. In this case the outgassing of hydrogen is studied in detail, with a particular emphasis on the number density of the species along the beam line. One way to reduce the number density of outgassed species along the beam line is to tilt the wafer away from the incident beam. This effect is quantified in the model.