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A Software Platform for Nanoscale Device Simulation and Visualization


In: IEEE International Conference on Advances in Computational Tools for Engineering Applications (ACTEA 2009), page 432-437, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon.

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NanoFEM platform is a new research environment based on the finite element method (FEM) for Technology CAD (TCAD) simulation and visualization of nanoscale devices, such as MOSFET transistors. The simulation in NanoFEM platform is based on solving partial differential equations corresponding to physical processes in a modelled device. A user or developer can provide these equations in a variational form format, and can define solver modules based on a FEM library with ability of automatic generation of finite elements and finite element forms. Solver modules can define fields for simulation and visualization and boundary conditions. Simple boundary conditions and material properties can also be specified directly in the graphical user interface. Geometry for the solved case can be defined either in graphical user interface or using Python scripting. Quality tetrahedral meshes necessary for FEM simulations are generated automatically. Visualization and post-processing is available in graphical user interface. We present some of related major existing solutions, namely open source geometry editors, mesh generators, computation libraries and visualization tools for FEM. We discuss major software components of the NanoFEM platform, i.e. Salome Platform and DOLFIN/FEniCS. We present an example simulation and visualization in NanoFEM platform. This is a simulation of the Poisson equation on a 3D structure consisting of several geometry groups and materials forming a FinFET transistor with a mesh consisting of hundreds of thousands tetrahedrons. Because NanoFEM platform consists almost entirely of open source software components, others could eventually build similar solutions including, but not limited to TCAD device simulations after reading and reviewing the NanoFEM platform design and components.

Keywords: Technology CAD (TCAD), Nanoscale Device Simulation, Finite Element Method (FEM), Meshing, Visualization, Modelling of Partial Differential Equations (PDE)

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