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Plasma Applications Group - Announcements

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Topic: Plasma Processes for Energy Related and Manufacturing Applications

Meeting Date: April 17, 2014
Start Time: 1:25 - 5:00 pm


SEMI Global Headquarters
Seminar rooms 1 & 2
3081 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95134
**Park in front or behind the vacant building across from SEMI**


Vladimir Kudriavtsev PhD, Intevac Inc, vkudriavtsev at
Cesar Clavero PhD, LBNL, cclavero at

Gold Sponsor: Cobham


1:25 - 1:30 Welcome and Introduction

1:30 - 2:15 Plasma-synthesized silicon nanoparticles as a new material for silicon solar cells
- Prof. Zak Holman, Arizona State University
Abstract: Parasitic absorption in the doped layers at the front of both thin-film silicon and silicon heterojunction solar cells can easily reduce short-circuit current density by more than 1 mA/cm2. Common approaches to reduce this loss include replacing amorphous silicon with wider bandgap oxides or carbides, or with microcrystalline silicon. In the first case, however, fill factor is often compromised; in the second, an amorphous incubation layer frustrates direct microcrystalline growth.

This talk will introduce two new approaches to improve the UV and blue response of thin-film silicon and silicon heterojunction solar cells using silicon nanoparticles. In both cases, the nanoparticles are synthesized in a RF plasma using a continuous-flow reactor, and then accelerated through a slit-shaped nozzle toward a substrate where they are deposited as a porous film. In the first approach, a monolayer of silicon nanoparticles serves as a nucleation template for the direct growth of microcrystalline silicon, independent of the underlying substrate. In the second approach, luminescent silicon nanoparticles deposited on completed silicon solar cells serve as both downshifters and a second antireflection coating, improving external quantum efficiency.

2:15 - 2:45 Cost of Ownership Analysis for a High Productivity PVD System
- Ian Latchford, Intevac Inc

2:45 - 3:00 Break

3:00 - 3:50 Using plasmas to trap antihydrogen atoms
- Prof. Joel Fajans, University of California, Berkeley
Abstract: Recently, physicists have managed to create and trap antihydrogen atoms. These atoms consist of a positively charged electron (a positron), orbiting a negatively charge proton (an antiproton), Physicists have long speculating that the properties of these anti-atoms might be different from the properties of normal matter atoms; for instance, though very unlikely, it is possible that these atoms would fall up rather than down. In this talk, after discussing some of these speculations, I will describe how antihydrogen atoms are created by mixing positron and antiproton plasmas.

3:50 - 4:20 Efficient electromagnetic and multi-physics simulation
- Chris Malocsay, Michael Hook, Cobham
Abstract: Development of many modern devices is characterized by the pressures of producing ever more sophisticated, high performance products, while reducing their development and production costs, and time-to-market. Success in achieving these requirements can rely on the availability of accurate virtual prototyping software that allows engineers rapidly to investigate a wide range of designs and operating regimes. Simulation can usually be performed in a fraction of the time of an experimental programme, and at a fraction of the cost. It also enables the optimization of full life-cycle-costs from the outset. In many industries where virtual design and test is routinely used, the development process, end products and life-cycle costs have all improved dramatically

This presentation discusses one such design and analysis tool, known as Opera. Opera is a multiphysics simulation software tool for designers of electromagnetic equipment. It has wide application, including in the areas of energy, biomedicine and electronic devices, where its versatility and accuracy have been valued for many years.

The presentation will outline a range of relevant applications, and will then concentrate on the capabilities of the software in one particular field, that of charged particle devices. Here, Opera enables the modelling of the interaction of charged-particles with electromagnetic fields, including space charge limited emission and self-consistent particle tracking.

The ability to model these features is critical for obtaining optimum performance from a wide range of devices, be they x-ray tubes or flat screen displays, ion sources or particle accelerators. The Opera software suite has included this capability for a number of years, and continual developments are bringing further enhancements. An example of its use in the design and analysis of carbon nanotube emitters for flat displays will be discussed. The latest enhancement will also be introduced - a new self-consistent plasma emission model for magnetron sputtering devices. This offers the capability to simulate a sputter coater in a realistic time, and allows optimization of such parameters as the deposited film profile and target utilization - parameters critical to the performance of the end-products and to the economics of the process.

4:20 - 4:50 Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition for water splitting applications
- Adam Shwartzberg, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

4:50 Close Meeting

All presentations will be requested to be posted on the PAG Proceedings webpage.

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