PIFE-PIC

PIFE-PIC: parallel immersed finite element particle-in-cell for 3-D kinetic simulations of plasma-material interactions. This paper presents a recently developed particle simulation code package PIFE-PIC, which is a novel three-dimensional (3-D) parallel immersed finite element (IFE) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model for particle simulations of plasma-material interactions. This framework is based on the recently developed nonhomogeneous electrostatic IFE-PIC algorithm, which is designed to handle complex plasma-material interface conditions associated with irregular geometries using a Cartesian mesh-based PIC. Three-dimensional domain decomposition is utilized for both the electrostatic field solver with IFE and the particle operations in PIC to distribute the computation among multiple processors. A simulation of the orbital motion-limited (OML) sheath of a dielectric sphere immersed in a stationary plasma is carried out to validate parallel IFE-PIC and profile the parallel performance of the code package. Furthermore, a large-scale simulation of plasma charging at a lunar crater containing 2 million PIC cells (10 million FE/IFE cells) and about 1 billion particles, running for 20,000 PIC steps in about 154 wall-clock hours, is presented to demonstrate the high-performance computing capability of PIFE-PIC.