Colloquium # 257

Simulation of non-equilibrium and equilibrium plasma discharges for industrial applications

by Shankar Mahadevan
Esgee Technologies Inc., Texas, U.S.

Tuesday, 24th November at 3:30PM, Seminar Hall

Plasma technologies have a wide range of applications in semiconductor processing, lighting, electrical systems, automotive and aerospace industries, biomedical sterilization and surface treatment. Computational simulation can play an important role in the understanding, development, and optimization of plasma systems.
The first part of this talk will focus on the simulation of non-equilibrium (glow) plasma discharges using a fluid model. Various aspects of the numerical model will be discussed, including the governing equations, plasma chemistry and transport, and implementation. The application of the model for the simulation of a microwave plasma chamber for semiconductor processing at low pressure, and the simulation of non-equilibrium streamer discharges for combustion ignition at high pressures (above atmospheric pressure) will be presented.
In the second part of the talk, the simulation of equilibrium (arc) plasma discharges will be discussed. The plasma is modeled by coupling fluid governing equations and electromagnetic equations, with the assumptions of chemical and thermal equilibrium. Conjugate heat transfer between the plasma and solid materials, along with the effects of material vapor ablation on the plasma properties are included in the model. The application of the equilibrium model for the simulation of a Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB) will be presented.

About the speaker

Shankar Mahadevan received the B.Tech degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India in 2004, and the M.S.E and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA in 2006 and 2010 respectively. Since then, he has been working at Esgee Technologies, Inc. in Austin, TX, where he is currently a senior member of the team that develops the non-equilibrium plasma simulator VizGlow, and components VizFlow and VizEM. He is the lead developer of the parallel version of the Esgee software products for high-performance computing (HPC) multi-core workstations and servers. Recently, he has been working on the development of Esgee Technologies’ new thermal plasma simulator VizSpark.

His research interests are in the computational simulation of plasmas and reactive flows, with applications in plasma-based aerodynamic flow control, plasma-assisted combustion ignition, and semiconductor materials processing.