Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High-performance computer for simulating laser processes in nanophotonics

16.12.2010
Computer simulations play an essential role in research and development work. They provide a detailed insight into processes from which answers to specific questions can be derived.

The simulation of laser-based production processes has to cover a wide span of time and length scales, especially in new techniques from micro- and nanophotonics. This requires special algorithms which have already been used successfully at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, as well as a massive amount of computer power. Fraunhofer ILT has built a high-performance computer cluster at the »Center for Nanophotonics«.

In laser-based production operations, important process variables are difficult to measure in the micrometer-scale process zones owing to the tiny dimensions and very high temperatures that prevail. Computer simulations are therefore being increasingly used to optimize performance. They provide an insight into the processes and are easier to automate and often more cost-effective than experiments. What’s more, simulations enable fluctuations and measurement uncertainties to be excluded or specifically taken into account.

Multiscales – no problem for the computer cluster

Simulations of laser-based production processes tend to be multi-scale problems, in which a large expansion of the component has to be calculated at a very high resolution. Micro processing requires a resolution of a few nanometers and a calculation area with an expansion of several millimeters. For example, when processing thin-film solar cells, structures must be ablated extremely precisely and evenly from the layers which are just a few 100 nanometers thick.

Nano for macro

But in macro processing too, e.g. steel plate cutting, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to control small-scale effects in order to expand the process limits. To optimize expulsion of the molten metal during laser cutting, for instance, boundary layer phenomena of ultrasonic gas flows in the kerf are analyzed in detail.

High computer power in the »Center for Nanophotonics«

The required large number of grid points exceeds the capacity of conventional workstations in terms of processing time and storage space. The funding provided by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the new »Center for Nanophotonics« in Aachen has made it possible to create a high-performance computer cluster for simulations of these multi-scale tasks at Fraunhofer ILT. The final stage of the high-power computer system was installed and started up in November. In developing the concept, the research scientists in Aachen deployed a heterogeneous computer architecture consisting of multi-core processors and special high-performance computers with CUDA architecture, which allows parts of the calculations to be performed on graphics processors (GPUs). This modern concept is particularly suitable for the massively parallel execution of frequently recurring calculation steps. The installed cluster system has 376 CPUs and eight graphics processor systems with altogether 1920 GPUs. The storage capacity amounts to close on 2 terabytes of main memory and 67 terabytes of hard disk storage, of which 20 terabytes are on redundant interconnected drives. Data is exchanged within the cluster by means of a fast InfiniBand network. The theoretical total computer power is close on 10 teraflops, which roughly corresponds to the power of 1,000 modern office PCs. »The system is available to us around the clock on an exclusive basis. This means that simulations can be performed specifically for laser processes, to further our research and on behalf of customers, without any long waiting times. This makes our work much easier while also saving time and money,« explains Dr. Jens Schüttler, project manager at Fraunhofer ILT.

Applications

The new high-performance computer system can be used to simulate complex operations from laser material processing at high resolution in a short processing time. Applications include molecular dynamic simulation of ablation with ultra-short pulses, the configuration of micro processing techniques and the design of gas flows and gas-cutting nozzles. The propagation of laser radiation at wavelength scale and the stability of the melting dynamics in laser cutting can also be simulated. This range of applications is interesting for manufacturers and users of laser processing machines who want to analyze, optimize and improve their processes.


Contacts at Fraunhofer ILT
Our experts will be pleased to assist if you have any questions:
Dr. Jens Schüttler
Modeling and Simulation
Phone +49 241 8906-680
jens.schuettler@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Dipl. Phys. Ulrich Jansen
Modeling and Simulation
Phone +49 241 8906-680
ulrich.jansen@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz
Modeling and Simulation
Phone +49 241 8906-204
wolfgang.schulz@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser technology ILT
Steinbachstrasse 15
52074 Aachen
Tel. +49 241 8906-0
Fax. +49 241 8906-121

Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer ILT
Further information:
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms
25.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor
24.04.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>