# Particle Tracing Module

**Particle Tracing Module
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• Released with version 4.2a in October 2011 • Add-on to COMSOL Multiphysics • Combines with any COMSOL Multiphysics Module

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Particle Tracing
• Particle tracing can be used as an alternative to the finite element method for solving real world physics problems • Advantages:
– No numerical instabilities which occur in the finite element method due to high Peclet numbers – Much simpler mathematics involved in formulating the problem – Solves a different class of problems which COMSOL currently can’t handle
Ion cyclotron motion
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Key Applications
Particle trajectories in a static mixer
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AC/DC
– – – – – Mass spectrometry Beam physics and ion optics Fluid flow visualization Sprays Separation and filtration
Ion energy distribution function
Fluid Flow
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RF
– Ray tracing for smoothly graded materials (limited ray tracing) Ion energy distribution function Acoustic streaming Classical mechanics
Plasma
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Acoustics Mathematics
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Key Features
• Particle tracing is now available as a physics interface which means:
– – – – – – – – – – The powerful solvers used to solve finite element based problems in COMSOL can be utilized Hundreds of thousands of particles can be modeled comfortably Parametric sweep machinery can be used Boundary conditions can be applied to the particles Solution is stored in the model rather than computed during postprocessing Implicit timestepping Particle/field interaction is supported Predefined forces are available as features in the model tree Hamiltonian formulation allows ray tracing to be modeled New postprocessing tools
Luneburg lens
Magnetic lens
Quadrupole mass spectrometer
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Lagrangian or Hamiltonian formulations Complete freedom over the equations solved allows. gravitational. acoustophoretic and many other forces
.Physics Interfaces
• • There are three physics interfaces included with the Particle Tracing Module Mathematical Particle Tracing
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Specify the equations of motion using Massless. magnetic and collisional forces
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Charged Particle Tracing
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Particle Tracing for Fluid Flow
– – Model microscopic and macroscopic particles in a fluid Includes drag. ray tracing to be modeled Model ion and electron trajectories in electric and magnetic fields Easy to define electric. dielectrophoretic. for example. Newtonian.

Charged Particle Tracing
• • • • Use this to model ion and electron trajectories in electric and magnetic fields Predefined forces Typically the fields are pre-computed from one of the AC/DC interfaces Particle-field interactions
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Particle Tracing for Fluid Flow
• • • Use this to model motion of microscopic particles in a fluid Predefined forces Typically the velocity field is pre-computed using one of the interfaces in the CFD or Microfluidics modules Fluid-particle interactions
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Mathematical Particle Tracing
• Complete freedom over the equations solved for each particle
– Analogous to the PDE modes offered in COMSOL Multiphysics
• Many different ways of solving the same problem. for example:
Formulation Equation of motion Charged Particle in a Magnetic Field
Lagrangian
Hamiltonian Newtonian Massless N/A
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Freeze
• Freeze (default)
– Particles stick to the wall when they strike it – The velocity of the particles at the moment of impact with the wall is frozen for all subsequent timesteps.Boundary conditions . – This is useful to recover the velocity and energy distribution function of particles when they strike the wall – Used to compute the ion energy distribution function in plasma models
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Boundary conditions . Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations – This option is not available for Massless particle tracing – Momentum is conserved exactly – Useful in fluid based applications and on symmetry axis
.Bounce
• Bounce
– Particles can bounce off walls (specular reflection) for the Newtonian.

Boundary conditions
Freeze (default) Stick
Disappear
Bounce
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• Uniform distribution on boundaries
– Gives an exact uniform distribution of particles on flat surfaces. Setting this to one will give a uniform distribution.
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• Set the density of particles proportional to an expression
– The expression can be a function of parameters and variables. the more particles are released. The higher the refinement factor.Release of Particles
• Mesh Based
– Set the refinement factor.
• Grid based particle release
– Enter a grid of coordinates for the initial positions of the particles.

Mesh Based Particle Release
Refinement factor = 1 Refinement factor = 2
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Density Based Particle Release
Expression = 1
Expression = 1/(x2+y2)
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4 to 0.Grid Based Particle Release
Release uniformly from -0.4 Graded grid
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Uniform Particle Release
Uniform release on a boundary Uniform release on a boundary in 3D
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Postprocessing Features
• • • • • • • Particle trajectory plots Poincare sections & maps Phase portraits Point and click on particles interactively Animations Histograms Transmission probabilities
Poincare map for a Rossler attractor
Phase portrait
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spin etc • Integrate auxiliary dependent variables with respect to time or along the particle trajectory • Reflect particles off walls (specular reflection) • User defined forces
Particle field interaction
Integrated shear rate along particle trajectories
.Advanced Features
• Particle-field interaction • Add auxiliary dependent variables to compute particle mass. temperature.

Summary
• Flexible particle tracing tool for all types of physics • Addresses many of the problems reported by our user base with the current particle tracing functionality • Advanced modeling tools • Massless. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations
Mixing in a static mixer
. Newtonian.

END
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