A numerical method to simulate radio-frequency plasma discharges

E. P. Hammond, K. Mahesh, P. Moin

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55 Scopus citations


A fully conservative and efficient numerical algorithm is developed for fluid simulations of radio-frequency plasma discharges. Results are presented in one and multiple dimensions for a helium discharge. The algorithm produces accurate results even on fairly coarse grids without the use of numerical dissipation. The proposed electron flux discretization is more accurate and efficient than two of the most commonly used discretizations: low-order upwinding (M. S. Barnes, T. J. Colter, and M. E. Elta, 1987, J. Appl. Phys. 61, 81) and Scharfetter-Gummel (D. L. Scharfetter and H. K. Gummel, 1969, IEEE Trans. Electron Devices ED-16, 64).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-429
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge helpful discussions with M. A. Capelli. E. P. Hammond was supported by the Brit and Alex d’Arbeloff Stanford Graduate Fellowship.


  • Conservative
  • Nondissipative
  • Numerical method
  • Plasma


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