EPJ D Topical review - Theory and molecular simulations of plasma sputtering, transport and deposition processes
- Published on 03 February 2023
A new Topical Review published in EPJD provides an overview of the basic theory of sputtering with recent models, focussing in particular on sputtered atom energy distribution functions. Models such as Monte-Carlo, kinetic Monte-Carlo, and classical Molecular Dynamics simulations are presented due to their ability to describe the various processes involved in sputtering, transport and deposition processes.
Written by authors from GREMI –CNRS- University of Orléans and SAFRAN TECH, this review aims to popularize the use of the described models in understanding phenomena at the molecular scale, and to track the role of molecular phenomena in the overall sputter deposition system. The intention is to provide researchers, theoreticians, modellers, experimentalists and industry engineers modern tools for reaching such understanding.
The review addresses sputtering theory through an historical perspective and provides recent developments of analytical theory describing sputtered material energy distribution functions. This is followed by a presentation of Monte-Carlo approaches to magnetron discharge modelling. The core of the review is devoted to the different numerical simulations of plasma sputtering, transport and deposition using atomistic models: Monte-Carlo, kinetic Monte-Carlo, and Molecular Dynamics are detailed, providing the basic information required by the reader to build him/her-self such simulations. It also addresses ways to make comparison with experimental results. It is organized in a manner which shows these simulations as numerical experiments, relevant for exploring basic phenomena not simply addressed by analysis tools. Such an atomistic approach can be easily extended to chemical engineering processing, such as (plasma enhanced) chemical vapour deposition.
P. Brault, A.-L.Thomann, M. Cavarroc (2023),
Theory and molecular simulations of plasma sputtering, transport and deposition processes,
European Physical Journal D 77:19, https://doi.org/10.1140/epjd/s10053-023-00592-x