Publications / SAND Report

ChISELS 1.0: theory and user manual :a theoretical modeler of deposition and etch processes in microsystems fabrication

Musson, Lawrence M.; Schmidt, Rodney C.; Ho, Pauline H.; Plimpton, Steven J.

Chemically Induced Surface Evolution with Level-Sets--ChISELS--is a parallel code for modeling 2D and 3D material depositions and etches at feature scales on patterned wafers at low pressures. Designed for efficient use on a variety of computer architectures ranging from single-processor workstations to advanced massively parallel computers running MPI, ChISELS is a platform on which to build and improve upon previous feature-scale modeling tools while taking advantage of the most recent advances in load balancing and scalable solution algorithms. Evolving interfaces are represented using the level-set method and the evolution equations time integrated using a Semi-Lagrangian approach [1]. The computational meshes used are quad-trees (2D) and oct-trees (3D), constructed such that grid refinement is localized to regions near the surface interfaces. As the interface evolves, the mesh is dynamically reconstructed as needed for the grid to remain fine only around the interface. For parallel computation, a domain decomposition scheme with dynamic load balancing is used to distribute the computational work across processors. A ballistic transport model is employed to solve for the fluxes incident on each of the surface elements. Surface chemistry is computed by either coupling to the CHEMKIN software [2] or by providing user defined subroutines. This report describes the theoretical underpinnings, methods, and practical use instruction of the ChISELS 1.0 computer code.