Numerical simulation and physical modelling are key technology enablers and accelerators used at every stage of the development cycle, from early process developments to proof-of-concept prototypes and demonstrator systems.
At the material level, atomistic simulations are used to predict, understand, and optimize the thermal, mechanical, thermodynamic, and optical properties of new materials for a set of target specifications. At the device and process integration level, physical models built from ab initio simulations and experimental results can be implemented in finite element/finite difference simulation tools.
These computer-aided design tools are then used to set up the fabrication process flow and optimize the device design. For example, in the semiconductor industry, standardized SPICE compact models are used to predict the behavior of all active and passive devices across the entire operating domain.
In the field of energy, numerical simulation will be used to improve Li-ion batteries and fuel cells, enabling the development of new materials and optimized electrodes and predicting lifespans.
Numerical simulation and modelling research requires not only solid skills in physics, applied mathematics and programming, but also strong interactions with material research, process integration, device engineering, physico-chemical and electrical characterizations, operando characterization, and system design.
CEA leverages expert know-how and a broad array of equipment to innovate new multi-physics modelling, numerical simulation, and virtual materials development and prototyping capabilities.