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Feature length-scale modeling of LPCVD & PECVD MEMS fabrication processes

Proposed for publication in the Journal of Microsystems Technologies.

Plimpton, Steven J.; Schmidt, Rodney C.

The surface micromachining processes used to manufacture MEMS devices and integrated circuits transpire at such small length scales and are sufficiently complex that a theoretical analysis of them is particularly inviting. Under development at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is Chemically Induced Surface Evolution with Level Sets (ChISELS), a level-set based feature-scale modeler of such processes. The theoretical models used, a description of the software and some example results are presented here. The focus to date has been of low-pressure and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (low-pressure chemical vapor deposition, LPCVD and PECVD) processes. Both are employed in SNLs SUMMiT V technology. Examples of step coverage of SiO{sub 2} into a trench by each of the LPCVD and PECVD process are presented.

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Effect of End-Tethered Polymers on Surface Adhesion of Glassy Polymers

Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics

Sides, Scott W.; Grest, Gary S.; Stevens, Mark J.; Plimpton, Steven J.

The adhesion between a glassy polymer melt and substrate is studied in the presence of end-grafted chains chemically attached to the substrate surface. Extensive molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out to study the effect of the areal density Σ of tethered chains and tensile pull velocity v on the adhesive failure mechanisms. The initial configurations are generated using a double-bridging algorithm in which new bonds are formed across a pair of monomers equidistant from their respective free ends. This generates new chain configurations that are substantially different than the original two chains such that the systems can be equilibrated in a reasonable amount of cpu time. At the slowest tensile pull velocity studied, a crossover from chain scission to crazing is observed as the coverage increases, while for very large pull velocity, only chain scission is observed. As the coverage increases, the sections of the tethered chains pulled out from the interface form the fibrils of a craze that are strong enough to suppress chain scission, resulting in cohesive rather than adhesive failure. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Equilibration of long chain polymer melts in computer simulations

Journal of Chemical Physics

Auhl, Rolf; Everaers, Ralf; Grest, Gary S.; Kremer, Kurt; Plimpton, Steven J.

Equilibrated melts of long chain polymers were prepared. The combination of molecular dynamic (MD) relaxation, double-bridging and slow push-off allowed the efficient and controlled preparation of equilibrated melts of short, medium, and long chains, respectively. Results were obtained for an off-lattice bead-spring model with chain lengths up to N=7000 beads.

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ChemCell : a particle-based model of protein chemistry and diffusion in microbial cells

Plimpton, Steven J.; Plimpton, Steven J.; Slepoy, Alexander S.

Prokaryotic single-cell microbes are the simplest of all self-sufficient living organisms. Yet microbes create and use much of the molecular machinery present in more complex organisms, and the macro-molecules in microbial cells interact in regulatory, metabolic, and signaling pathways that are prototypical of the reaction networks present in all cells. We have developed a simple simulation model of a prokaryotic cell that treats proteins, protein complexes, and other organic molecules as particles which diffuse via Brownian motion and react with nearby particles in accord with chemical rate equations. The code models protein motion and chemistry within an idealized cellular geometry. It has been used to simulate several simple reaction networks and compared to more idealized models which do not include spatial effects. In this report we describe an initial version of the simulation code that was developed with FY03 funding. We discuss the motivation for the model, highlight its underlying equations, and describe simulations of a 3-stage kinase cascade and a portion of the carbon fixation pathway in the Synechococcus microbe.

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Parallel tempering Monte Carlo in LAMMPS

Rintoul, Mark D.; Sears, Mark P.; Plimpton, Steven J.; Rintoul, Mark D.

We present here the details of the implementation of the parallel tempering Monte Carlo technique into a LAMMPS, a heavily used massively parallel molecular dynamics code at Sandia. This technique allows for many replicas of a system to be run at different simulation temperatures. At various points in the simulation, configurations can be swapped between different temperature environments and then continued. This allows for large regions of energy space to be sampled very quickly, and allows for minimum energy configurations to emerge in very complex systems, such as large biomolecular systems. By including this algorithm into an existing code, we immediately gain all of the previous work that had been put into LAMMPS, and allow this technique to quickly be available to the entire Sandia and international LAMMPS community. Finally, we present an example of this code applied to folding a small protein.

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Carbon sequestration in Synechococcus Sp.: from molecular machines to hierarchical modeling

Proposed for publication in OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, Vol. 6, No.4, 2002.

Heffelfinger, Grant S.; Faulon, Jean-Loup M.; Frink, Laura J.; Haaland, David M.; Hart, William E.; Lane, Todd L.; Heffelfinger, Grant S.; Plimpton, Steven J.; Roe, Diana C.; Timlin, Jerilyn A.; Martino, Anthony M.; Rintoul, Mark D.; Davidson, George S.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the first five grants for the Genomes to Life (GTL) Program. The goal of this program is to ''achieve the most far-reaching of all biological goals: a fundamental, comprehensive, and systematic understanding of life.'' While more information about the program can be found at the GTL website (, this paper provides an overview of one of the five GTL projects funded, ''Carbon Sequestration in Synechococcus Sp.: From Molecular Machines to Hierarchical Modeling.'' This project is a combined experimental and computational effort emphasizing developing, prototyping, and applying new computational tools and methods to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms of the carbon sequestration of Synechococcus Sp., an abundant marine cyanobacteria known to play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Understanding, predicting, and perhaps manipulating carbon fixation in the oceans has long been a major focus of biological oceanography and has more recently been of interest to a broader audience of scientists and policy makers. It is clear that the oceanic sinks and sources of CO(2) are important terms in the global environmental response to anthropogenic atmospheric inputs of CO(2) and that oceanic microorganisms play a key role in this response. However, the relationship between this global phenomenon and the biochemical mechanisms of carbon fixation in these microorganisms is poorly understood. The project includes five subprojects: an experimental investigation, three computational biology efforts, and a fifth which deals with addressing computational infrastructure challenges of relevance to this project and the Genomes to Life program as a whole. Our experimental effort is designed to provide biology and data to drive the computational efforts and includes significant investment in developing new experimental methods for uncovering protein partners, characterizing protein complexes, identifying new binding domains. We will also develop and apply new data measurement and statistical methods for analyzing microarray experiments. Our computational efforts include coupling molecular simulation methods with knowledge discovery from diverse biological data sets for high-throughput discovery and characterization of protein-protein complexes and developing a set of novel capabilities for inference of regulatory pathways in microbial genomes across multiple sources of information through the integration of computational and experimental technologies. These capabilities will be applied to Synechococcus regulatory pathways to characterize their interaction map and identify component proteins in these pathways. We will also investigate methods for combining experimental and computational results with visualization and natural language tools to accelerate discovery of regulatory pathways. Furthermore, given that the ultimate goal of this effort is to develop a systems-level of understanding of how the Synechococcus genome affects carbon fixation at the global scale, we will develop and apply a set of tools for capturing the carbon fixation behavior of complex of Synechococcus at different levels of resolution. Finally, because the explosion of data being produced by high-throughput experiments requires data analysis and models which are more computationally complex, more heterogeneous, and require coupling to ever increasing amounts of experimentally obtained data in varying formats, we have also established a companion computational infrastructure to support this effort as well as the Genomes to Life program as a whole.

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Icarus: A 2-D Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) Code for Multi-Processor Computers

Bartel, Timothy J.; Plimpton, Steven J.; Gallis, Michail A.

Icarus is a 2D Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code which has been optimized for the parallel computing environment. The code is based on the DSMC method of Bird[11.1] and models from free-molecular to continuum flowfields in either cartesian (x, y) or axisymmetric (z, r) coordinates. Computational particles, representing a given number of molecules or atoms, are tracked as they have collisions with other particles or surfaces. Multiple species, internal energy modes (rotation and vibration), chemistry, and ion transport are modeled. A new trace species methodology for collisions and chemistry is used to obtain statistics for small species concentrations. Gas phase chemistry is modeled using steric factors derived from Arrhenius reaction rates or in a manner similar to continuum modeling. Surface chemistry is modeled with surface reaction probabilities; an optional site density, energy dependent, coverage model is included. Electrons are modeled by either a local charge neutrality assumption or as discrete simulational particles. Ion chemistry is modeled with electron impact chemistry rates and charge exchange reactions. Coulomb collision cross-sections are used instead of Variable Hard Sphere values for ion-ion interactions. The electro-static fields can either be: externally input, a Langmuir-Tonks model or from a Green's Function (Boundary Element) based Poison Solver. Icarus has been used for subsonic to hypersonic, chemically reacting, and plasma flows. The Icarus software package includes the grid generation, parallel processor decomposition, post-processing, and restart software. The commercial graphics package, Tecplot, is used for graphics display. All of the software packages are written in standard Fortran.

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Scalability and Performance of a Large Linux Cluster

Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing

Brightwell, Ronald B.; Plimpton, Steven J.

In this paper the authors present performance results from several parallel benchmarks and applications on a 400-node Linux cluster at Sandia National Laboratories. They compare the results on the Linux cluster to performance obtained on a traditional distributed-memory massively parallel processing machine, the Intel TeraFLOPS. They discuss the characteristics of these machines that influence the performance results and identify the key components of the system software that they feel are important to allow for scalability of commodity-based PC clusters to hundreds and possibly thousands of processors.

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Load-balancing techniques for a parallel electromagnetic particle-in-cell code

Plimpton, Steven J.; Seidel, David B.; Pasik, Michael F.; Coats, Rebecca S.

QUICKSILVER is a 3-d electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulation code developed and used at Sandia to model relativistic charged particle transport. It models the time-response of electromagnetic fields and low-density-plasmas in a self-consistent manner: the fields push the plasma particles and the plasma current modifies the fields. Through an LDRD project a new parallel version of QUICKSILVER was created to enable large-scale plasma simulations to be run on massively-parallel distributed-memory supercomputers with thousands of processors, such as the Intel Tflops and DEC CPlant machines at Sandia. The new parallel code implements nearly all the features of the original serial QUICKSILVER and can be run on any platform which supports the message-passing interface (MPI) standard as well as on single-processor workstations. This report describes basic strategies useful for parallelizing and load-balancing particle-in-cell codes, outlines the parallel algorithms used in this implementation, and provides a summary of the modifications made to QUICKSILVER. It also highlights a series of benchmark simulations which have been run with the new code that illustrate its performance and parallel efficiency. These calculations have up to a billion grid cells and particles and were run on thousands of processors. This report also serves as a user manual for people wishing to run parallel QUICKSILVER.

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Results 201–210 of 210
Results 201–210 of 210