Molecular dynamics for low temperature plasma-surface interaction studies

David B. Graves, Pascal Brault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The mechanisms of physical and chemical interactions of low temperature plasmas with surfaces can be fruitfully explored using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. MD simulations follow the detailed motion of sets of interacting atoms through integration of atomic equations of motion, using inter-atomic potentials that can account for bond breaking and formation that result when energetic species from the plasma impact surfaces. This paper summarizes the current status of the technique for various applications of low temperature plasmas to material processing technologies. The method is reviewed, and commonly used inter-atomic potentials are described. Special attention is paid to the use of MD in understanding various representative applications, including tetrahedral amorphous carbon film deposition from energetic carbon ions, the interactions of radical species with amorphous hydrogenated silicon films, silicon nanoparticles in plasmas, and plasma etching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194011
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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