Coupled PIC-DSMC Simulations of a Laser-Driven Plasma Expansion
In the field of material processing or spacecraft propulsion, laser ablation is used to remove material from a solid surface with a laser beam. The numerical study of this process has been directed towards direct laser-solid interactions, tackled by molecular dynamics simulations which have been conducted in the past. An additional field of interest arises, when considering the interaction of a laser beam and the plasma created by former laser impacts. For this purpose, an Message Passing Interface parallelized, high-order Particle-in-Cell scheme coupled with a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method is used to handle the complex phenomena, which usually are simulated using disjoint techniques. The complete scheme is constructed to run on three-dimensional unstructured hexahedra, where for the Particle-in-Cell solver, a highly efficient discontinuous Galerkin method is used to calculate the electromagnetic field. Simulations under realistic settings require the use of high performance computing, where the parallel performance of the coupled solver plays the most important role. This work offers insight into such an undertaking by simulating the expansion of a plasma plume in three dimensions using this coupled algorithm.
We gratefully acknowledge the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding within the projects “Kinetic Algorithms for the Maxwell-Boltzmann System and the Simulation of Magnetospheric Propulsion Systems” and “Coupled PIC-DSMC-Simulation of Laser Driven Ablative Gas Expansions”. The latter being a sub project of the collaborative research center (SFB) 716 at the University of Stuttgart. Computational resources have been provided by the Bundes-Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart (HLRS).
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