Numerical modeling of carrier gas flow in atomic layer deposition vacuum reactor: A comparative study of lattice Boltzmann models

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This paper characterizes the carrier gas flow in the atomic layer deposition (ALD) vacuum reactor by introducing Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) to the ALD simulation through a comparative study of two LBM models. Numerical models of gas flow are constructed and implemented in two-dimensional geometry based on lattice Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (LBGK)-D2Q9 model and two-relaxation-time (TRT) model. Both incompressible and compressible scenarios are simulated and the two models are compared in the aspects of flow features, stability, and efficiency. Our simulation outcome reveals that, for our specific ALD vacuum reactor, TRT model generates better steady laminar flow features all over the domain with better stability and reliability than LBGK-D2Q9 model especially when considering the compressible effects of the gas flow. The LBM-TRT is verified indirectly by comparing the numerical result with conventional continuum-based computational fluid dynamics solvers, and it shows very good agreement with these conventional methods. The velocity field of carrier gas flow through ALD vacuum reactor was characterized by LBM-TRT model finally. The flow in ALD is in a laminar steady state with velocity concentrated at the corners and around the wafer. The effects of flow fields on precursor distributions, surface absorptions, and surface reactions are discussed in detail. Steady and evenly distributed velocity field contribute to higher precursor concentration near the wafer and relatively lower particle velocities help to achieve better surface adsorption and deposition. The ALD reactor geometry needs to be considered carefully if a steady and laminar flow field around the wafer and better surface deposition are desired. © 2014 American Vacuum Society.

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Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films

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