Progress in understanding atomic level processing at the atomic scale


Simon Elliott
Director – Atomic Level Process Simulation


In this talk, we will dip into stories about how simulations have advanced our understanding of the growth mechanisms of ALD, and lately of ALE too. We will also sketch out work on nucleation onto substrates, metal deposition, plasma-surface reactions and precursor design. Building on this, simulations are now showing how to control continuous versus self-limiting processes, and deposition versus etch.

We will emphasize how collaboration has been the main driver of this work, always checking and challenging the relevance of the model results for actual experiments. The wider uptake of atomic-scale modelling as a research tool is confirming its usefulness and impact.

As long as computer power continues to snowball, the future for modelling process chemistry is bright. We are looking forward to finding improved precursors through the semi-autonomous exploration of chemical space. Machine-learning techniques are opening up areas that were out-of-bounds to simulations based on physical laws, such as prediction of complex properties and increased accuracy in interatomic potentials for large systems.