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VLSI Design
Volume 6 (1998), Issue 1-4, Pages 373-378

Moving Adaptive Unstructured 3-D Meshes in Semiconductor Process Modeling Applications

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lucent Bell Laboratories, USA

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The next generation of semiconductor process and device modeling codes will require 3-D mesh capabilities including moving volume and surface grids, adaptive mesh refinement and adaptive mesh smoothing. To illustrate the value of these techniques, a time dependent process simulation model was constructed using analytic functions to return time dependent dopant concentration and time dependent SiO2 volume and surface velocities. Adaptive mesh refinement and adaptive mesh smoothing techniques were used to resolve the moving boron dopant diffusion front in the Si substrate. The adaptive mesh smoothing technique involves minimizing the L2 norm of the gradient of the error between the true dopant concentration and the piecewise linear approximation over the tetrahedral mesh thus assuring that the mesh is optimal for representing evolving solution gradients. Also implemented is constrained boundary smoothing, wherein the moving SiO2/Si interface is represented by moving nodes that correctly track the interface motion, and which use their remaining degrees of freedom to minimize the aforementioned error norm. Thus, optimal tetrahedral shape and alignment is obtained even in the neighborhood of a moving boundary. If desired, a topological “reconnection” step maintains a Delaunay mesh at all times. The combination of adaptive refinement, adaptive smoothing, and mesh reconnection gives excellent front tracking, feature resolution, and grid quality for finite volume/finite element computation.