How to Model Wet Chemical Etching in COMSOL Multiphysics®

Rasmus Karlsson November 27, 2017

Wet chemical etching is used to form patterns on surfaces, with applications including the production of integrated circuits, MEMS devices, and pressure sensors. This process has been around for hundreds of years, and was a favorite method of Old Master Rembrandt van Rijn. The optimization of chemical etching was historically a matter of trial and error, but in this blog post, we’ll show how to model the process in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Edmund Dickinson October 10, 2017

In a previous blog post, we discussed why surfaces are special in chemical reactors. In this blog post, we’ll see how surface area is maximized in reactor structures such as pellet beds, and how we can simply and accurately simulate fixed-bed reactors in spite of their local geometric complexity and the importance of microscopic diffusion.

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Edmund Dickinson September 5, 2017

Precision machining and quality of surface finish are major concerns for manufacturers of metal parts. The promise of a contactless method to machine surfaces with submillimeter precision and a clean surface, on metals of almost any hardness, might seem too good to be true. However, such a method, pulsed electrochemical machining (PECM), was the focus of a detailed investigation using numerical modeling presented at the COMSOL Conference 2016 Munich.

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Caty Fairclough August 16, 2017

Research shows that microgravity exposure has an effect on the human body, such as by suppressing immune cell activity. This phenomenon also affects cancer cell migration. Making use of this fact can lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer cells. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a research team used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to design a culturing system to study cancer cell migration in microgravity.

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Caty Fairclough August 15, 2017

Zone electrophoresis separates different species in a sample into distinct well-resolved peaks, giving scientists the ability to analyze substances like proteins and nucleic acids. Improving this electrophoretic separation technique requires us to accurately model the transport and separation of these species. Here, let’s look at how the COMSOL Multiphysics® software can be used to simulate the movement of species during zone electrophoresis.

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Edmund Dickinson July 13, 2017

In biophysics, electrochemistry, and the design of catalytic reactors, researchers and engineers exploit the special chemical and physical properties of solid surfaces involving both gas-solid and liquid-solid interfaces. This blog post discusses the basics of the kinetics of surface reactions at simple surfaces and how they can be modeled with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. In a subsequent blog post, we will look at how mass transport and reaction kinetics at surfaces are described for homogenized porous media.

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Claire Bost June 14, 2017

When ambient air flows through porous media, it carries moisture. In this process, temperature and moisture are coupled: The vapor saturates depending on the temperature conditions, while latent heat effects due to evaporation and condensation modify the temperature. We discussed heat and moisture transport in air in a previous blog post. Let’s address the specific transport processes we need to consider in pores and how to model heat and moisture transport in porous media with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham April 26, 2017

Sometimes when you bake a cake, it doesn’t turn out how you expected. Part of this is due to the underlying heat and mass transfer phenomena that occur within the baking process, which affect the end result. With tools like the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can study and predict how these mechanisms work and use this knowledge to bake a better cake.

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Edmund Dickinson March 14, 2017

In corrosion analysis, we often want to study corroding surfaces whose electrical connectivity is not as simple as a controlled current or voltage. Instead, an electrode surface might be short circuited to another electrode through a direct connection, such as the electrical connection between a monopile and transition piece. Here, we look at how to describe these electrodes and external short circuits using the appropriate boundary conditions in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham March 10, 2017

While reverse electrodialysis (RED) is a promising source of renewable energy, it can be a challenging process to analyze. The performance of RED units is affected by the physical phenomena that occur when converting salinity gradient energy into electric current. To address this, one team of researchers used a novel approach to model such systems in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Their multiphysics model and subsequent simulation studies provide further insight into designing and optimizing RED units.

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Caty Fairclough March 6, 2017

One way to design utility boilers with high thermal efficiency is to improve their furnaces — the most important part in their energy conversion process. Studying furnaces in utility boilers requires engineers to account for radiation, which can be difficult to solve for analytically and expensive to study experimentally. As an alternative, we can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to analyze radiative heat transfer in utility boiler furnaces and improve their designs.

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