Analyzing Kelvin Probe Designs with COMSOL Multiphysics®

Caty Fairclough October 4, 2017

Kelvin probes provide a nondestructive and contact-free method of measuring the work function differences of various material combinations. These probes can have a variety of designs, including different tip shapes, lengths, and radii. To find an optimal design while minimizing the need for extensive testing, one group of researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here’s what they found…

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Caty Fairclough September 29, 2017

Fusion energy is 30 years away — and always will be. The joke certainly rings true for inertial fusion energy (IFE), which must overcome a number of obstacles before it can become a reality. For example, the current methods for creating IFE targets cannot meet the predicted demand and cost requirements. To solve this problem, researchers designed a new microfluidics method that could address these production bottleneck issues while complying with the strict geometrical requirements of IFE target design.

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Caty Fairclough September 21, 2017

Have you ever plugged one too many devices into an electrical circuit? This can overload the circuit and damage its components. To avoid this issue, many homes have devices like electric switch circuit breakers to interrupt the current when a critical current is reached. Other types of circuit breakers are used to prevent issues in high-voltage situations, like citywide power lines. In this blog post, we discuss using simulation to study a class of heavy-duty circuit breakers: magnetic power switches.

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Uttam Pal September 19, 2017

In 1870, an audience watched as a stage was set with two buckets, one on top of the other. Due to a small hole in the upper bucket, water poured into the lower bucket, bending as it did so. To the audience’s amazement, sunlight followed the bend of water — a phenomenon later termed total internal reflection. The performer on stage, John Tyndall, was one of the many scientists who tried to control the most visible form of energy: light.

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Caty Fairclough September 12, 2017

When thinking about natural selection, antennas are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But with genetic algorithms, we can use the basic principles of natural selection to solve antenna optimization problems. For example, genetic algorithms enabled one research group to optimize the geometry of an optical antenna. They implemented their study by using LiveLink™ for MATLAB®, an add-on product to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Brianne Costa August 30, 2017

“I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” — Richard Feynman, in The Character of Physical Law (1965). Although the Nobel-prize-winning physicist might have been speaking in jest, quantum mechanics is a difficult concept to teach — and simulate. Modeling a double-barrier structure in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software can help teach quantum mechanics concepts to physics students as well as enhance the research and development of semiconductor devices.

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Bridget Cunningham August 14, 2017

Compliance testing is used to ensure that various products, processes, and systems meet standard requirements. Just as important as these tests is the equipment used to perform them. This testing equipment must be designed so that it delivers precise measurements that are reflective of real-world performance. RF modeling is a useful approach to analyzing and optimizing such devices, generating greater confidence in the measurements they obtain. To showcase this, we’ll look at a well-known equipment choice in EMC/EMI testing…

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Bjorn Sjodin August 8, 2017

The latest version of the AC/DC Module enables you to create electrostatics models that combine wires, surfaces, and solids. The technology is known as the boundary element method and can be used on its own or in combination with finite-element-method-based modeling. In this blog post, let’s see how the new functionality can be used to conveniently set up a model that includes a number of very thin spiral wires.

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Bridget Cunningham August 3, 2017

There are many ways to improve the frequency response of frequency-selective surfaces. However, optimizing these structures can require multiple steps. Every change to a design parameter — unit cell type, polarization, substrate properties, etc. — needs the expertise of simulation engineers. Simulation apps enable those with little or no simulation experience to run analyses for their specific stage of the design process on their own.

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Bridget Cunningham August 1, 2017

Helmholtz coils are used by scientists to generate uniform magnetic fields to study electromagnetism and its characteristics. These devices are used in MRI, spectroscopy, magnetoresistance measurements, and equipment calibrations. Here, we’ll look at what Helmholtz coils are, why they are important, and using a simulation-based approach to their design.

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Jiyoun Munn July 19, 2017

When simulating electromagnetic devices, a common mistake is putting everything into a model at the same time, including a complicated geometry, complex material properties, and a mixed bag of boundary conditions. This makes the model run for a long time and you might get frustrated when your simulation results are physically wrong, without any clues as to why. Today, we will discuss how to efficiently set up simple RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave circuit models in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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