course: Writing particle based simulation codes: from electron swarms to radio-frequency-plasmas

teaching methods:
lecture with tutorials
responsible person:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Awakowicz
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Julian Schulze (ETIT), Dr. Zoltán Donkó (extern)
offered in:
winter term

dates in winter term

  • start:


Die Angaben zu den Prüfungsmodalitäten (im WiSe 2020/2021 | SoSe 2021) erfolgen vorbehaltlich der aktuellen Situation. Notwendige Änderungen aufgrund universitärer Vorgaben werden zeitnah bekanntgegeben.
Form of exam:project
Registration for exam:FlexNow
continual assessment


  • The students understand the components of a kinetic simulation code for RF plasmas.
  • The students developed their own code for simulating the motion of charged particles in RF plasmas.


The aim of the course is to give an introduction to the principles and computational implementation of low-temperature plasma physics simulation methods that are based on the tracing of the motion of charged particles under the effect of external fields. Attendees will write their own codes. Activities will start with the numerical tracing of the particle trajectories in a homogeneous electric field and the description of collision processes of the charged particles with the background gas atoms. The computation of the transport coefficients and the velocity distribution function will be addressed. Subsequently the participants will develop step-by-step a self-consistent simulation code, which traces electrons and ions in a neutral background gas that is exposed to a radio-frequency external electric field. This code will allow computation of basic plasma characteristics, like space- and time-dependent particle densities and distribution functions.

recommended knowledge

Computing skills (C language). To check, if computing skills are sufficient, the participants have to solve a test problem in advance. Addititional information is found in section miscellaneous.


  • The language of the course is English.
  • There have to be at least 4 participants.
  • The maximum number of participants ist
  • Prerequisite for participation is the successful and independent solution of a test problem, which can be requested by e-mail from Mr. Zoltán Donkó (e-mail: The deadline for sending solutions is February 7, 2020. If there are more than 10 deliveries of correct solutions, the order of receipt of the solution determines course participation.