Esgee to present at 71st GEC in Portland

Esgee to present at 71st GEC in Portland

Esgee Technologies will be attending the 71st Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference in Portland, Oregon next week, November 5 – 9.

Join Esgee Tech’s Rochan Upadhyay for his talk on “Computational Modeling and Simulation of a Resonant Plasma Source.” He’ll demonstrate how electrical resonance can be exploited to extend low temperature, unmagnetized plasma sources beyond their typical operating limits.

Esgee also supported the work being presented by Tokyo Electron America’s Peter Ventzek. He will present “Parametric Modeling and Measurements of Pulsed Source and Bias Plasmas.” This talk explores the effects of pulsed and biased plasma sources on ion energy and angular distribution functions (IEDFs) for atomic layer etching applications.

Be sure to stop by the talks and contact us at to learn more.


Helical Resonator plasma simulation

Figure: Plasma electron number density evolution in helical resonator 

Esgee to present at 71st GEC in Portland

Now Import Chemistries from Quantemol QDB

Quantemol’s QDB plasma chemistry library now supports the OverViz chemistry format. Simply export a chemistry from QDB in the OverViz format (includes both gas and surface chemistries), then load them directly into any of the OverViz modules for plasma simulation.

OverViz users now have even more flexibility in defining complex chemistries for simulation, whether loading from VizData, importing from QDB, or creating their own. QDB membership required for QDB chemistry access. Contact us at to learn more.

Esgee to present at 71st GEC in Portland

Kinetic PIC Modeling of Ion Beam Neutralization

Ion beam neutralization is a significant challenge in electric propulsion and is needed to reduce beam electric fields, manage space charge, and reduce ion sputter of the spacecraft. To address these challenges, simulation can be used to investigate ion/electron interactions, predict space charge distributions, and optimize system properties, such as cathode location, beamlet current, ion density, and electron temperature. However, beam neutralization can be a challenging problem to simulate due to the extreme difference in mass between ions and electrons as well as the complex interaction of electromagnetic forces.

VizGrain is used to model the beam neutralization using a full, kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) modeling approach. Both ions and electrons are modeled as kinetic particles. Typical simulation approaches in literature involve initializing both ion and electron beams from a single, pre-mixed source. This example simulates a configuration in which the electron beam source is located outside of the ion beam. This allows us to investigate the initial mixing and entrainment of the electrons.

The 2D simulation geometry is shown in the Figure 1.

Figure 1: Beam neutralization geometry and simulation setup

The spacecraft, shown in green, is set to a reference of 0 V. The electron beam, shown in blue, is injected with a temperature of 2 eV. The ion beam, shown in red, has a beamlet current of 5mA. To adequately resolve the electrostatic potential required to model ion and electron interaction, the Debye length must be resolved in the mesh.  The resulting mesh is ~400K cells using a structured/unstructured mixed meshing approach.

Animations of the results are shown in Figures 2 and 3. Figure 2 shows the electrostatic potential with the interaction of ions (red) and electrons (blue). Figure 3 colors the particles by velocity.

Figure 2: Beam neutralization animation of electrostatic potential, ions = red, electrons = blue

Figure 3: Beam neutralization animation with particles colored by velocity

The electrostatic potential of the ion beam attracts and entrains the electrons. As shown in the velocity plot, the electrons are accelerated as they enter the electrostatic potential well created by the ion beam, then slow down as they exit the beam. Additionally, an instability can be observed in the electron beam in which the electrons begin to oscillate around the ion beam. The magnitude of the oscillations will likely decrease as the neutralization approaches steady state.

Finally, Figure 4 compares the electrostatic potential with and without electron neutralization.

Figure 4:  Electrostatic potential with and without electron neutralization

As expected the electron beam greatly reduces the potential, effectively neutralizing the beam. Note that the minimal ion beam divergence for the case without neutralization is attributed to the low beamlet current.

This example demonstrates VizGrain’s PIC modeling capability for electric propulsion applications. VizGrain is the 1D/2D/3D kinetic particle module within the OverViz Simulation Suite that provides scalable parallel simulation for large, complex problems. OverViz is an industrial multiphysics framework for performing hybrid plasma, fluid flow, electromagnetic, particle simulations. For more information, please contact us at