Plasma Theory and Modeling

Group leader: Dr. John Sheil

On September 1st ARCNL welcomes John Sheil as tenure track group leader of the new group Plasma Theory and Modeling. Sheil also has an appointment as assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit. The group will focus on research of the fundamental operating principles of laser-driven extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source plasmas using a combination of analytical modeling and numerical simulations.

These plasmas lie at the heart of EUV lithography machines, producing intense bursts of EUV radiation that are used to print nanometer-scale features on silicon wafers. Plasma modeling in this context is a multifaceted task, encompassing topics in laser-plasma interaction, atomic processes in plasmas, equation-of-state physics as well as plasma expansion dynamics. The group will perform research in these areas by developing and employing analytical models and large-scale computer simulations. The ultimate goal is to develop a truly predictive modeling toolkit to provide key insights for accelerating the understanding and development of laser-driven plasma sources of EUV light for nanolithography.

John Sheil received his PhD from University College Dublin (Ireland) in 2019 funded by an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. His PhD research focused on the spectroscopy of multiply-charged lanthanide ions and many-body quantum chaos in atomic systems. In 2019 he joined ARCNL as a postdoctoral researcher where he re-directed his research efforts to the modeling of EUV light source plasmas. His present research activities cover topics in non-local thermodynamic equilibrium atomic kinetics and spectral modeling, droplet propulsion and deformation upon laser impact and plasma expansion dynamics.