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Simulation software boosts particle device analyses

Posted: 22 Aug 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:parallel processing  Opera  3D Space Charge 

Electromagnetic design tool supplier Cobham Technical Services has recently developed a fast simulation software for analysing charged particle devices.

The new parallel processing software accelerates one of the major electromagnetic simulation solver options for Cobham's renowned Opera-3d suite of electromagnetic and multi-physics design tools, which use finite element (FE) analysis to compute the physical interaction of charged particles with electrostatic or magnetostatic fields. The effects of space charge, self-magnetic fields, and relativistic particle flow are included in the analysis.

Developed from the sequential processing version of Opera's space charge solver, also known as SCALA, the newly parallelised 3D Space Charge module uses code that is optimised for the shared memory architecture of standard PCs and workstations with multi-core processors. Although the speed benefit of parallel processing depends on model complexity, highly iterative and computationally intensive analysis tasks can be greatly accelerated by the technique. By parallelising the solve process, including the existing efficient particle tracking algorithms, the parallel processing version of the 3D Space Charge module can shorten simulation run-times significantly.

 Opera's space charge solver

Opera's space charge solver incorporates a wide range of volume and surface emission models, including multi-regime field emission.

Cobham's 3D Space Charge module will be of particular interest to engineers and scientists seeking to reduce the development costs and programme timescales of devices such as electron or ion guns. Application areas include X-ray machines, electron microscopes, field emission displays, mass spectrometers, electron beam lithography equipment, ion-beam sources, and magnetron sputter coaters.

The space charge solver fully integrates with Opera-3d's Modeler and Post-Processor, giving access to Opera's full range of model creation and results analysis tools. Models of complex geometry emitters can be constructed easily and accurately within the 3D Modeler, or imported from CAD systems via industry-standard interfaces such as STEP and IGES, and proprietary formats such as SAT (Standard ACIS Text) and Pro/Engineer. In preparation for FE analysis, the Modeler performs mesh generation, using tetrahedral, prismatic, or hexahedral elements, or a user-defined mix of two or more element types. In addition to the use of parallel processing, further increases in simulation speed can be gained by the Space Charge module's ability to exploit model symmetry.

Opera's Space Charge module incorporates a comprehensive set of surface and volume emission models. These include a range of formulations for thermionic and field effect surface emission, secondary emission from surfaces and from within volumes, and magnetised plasma emission—the last of these being a specialised plasma emission module designed for the efficient analysis of magnetron sputter coating systems. In addition, user-defined emission models are supported, allowing, for example, measured emission data to be used. Multiple emission models and particle species can be accommodated by a single model, allowing systems of essentially arbitrary complexity to be simulated.

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