Particle and fluid simulations of low-temperature plasma discharges : benchmarks and kinetic effects

Fluid, particle-in-cell and hybrid models are the numerical simulation techniques commonly used for simulating low-temperature plasma discharges. Despite the complexity of plasma systems and the challenges in describing and modelling them, well-organized simulation methods can provide physical information often difficult to obtain from experiments. Simulation results can also be used to identify research guidelines, find optimum operating conditions or propose novel designs for performance improvements. In this paper, we present an overview of the principles, strengths and limitations of the three simulation models, including a brief history and the recent status of their development. The three modelling techniques are benchmarked by comparing simulation results in different plasma systems (plasma display panels, capacitively coupled plasmas and inductively coupled plasmas) with experimentally measured data. In addition, different aspects of the electron and ion kinetics in these systems are discussed based upon simulation results.