Analyzing an Electrodynamic Ion Funnel with COMSOL Multiphysics®

Caty Fairclough December 8, 2017

Within mass spectrometers, plasmas are often used to ionize a sample and an inert background gas. Before the ions produced in the plasma are sent into the mass filter, which determines the sample’s chemical composition, they must be focused into a beam with a suitably small radius. One way to focus ions is with an ion funnel. Focusing ions is a critical stage of the overall design, so it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of the funnel’s operating principles.

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Walter Frei November 30, 2017

To fillet or not to fillet, that is the question (that can bedevil the multiphysics analyst). When building finite element models, sharp edges can lead to local singularities and fields that are nonconvergent with mesh refinement. Rounding off these sharp edges by adding a fillet avoids this singularity. As it turns out, in many multiphysics models, these sharp edges and the resultant singularities do not necessarily negatively affect the results. Let’s find out more.

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Brianne Costa November 24, 2017

Magnetic flow meters are a noninvasive option for measuring blood flow. However, when patients move, displaced blood vessels can affect the sensitivity of the flow meter. Researchers from ABB Corporate Research used multiphysics modeling to study how the displacement of blood vessels in a moving patient impacts the performance of a magnetic flow meter.

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Caty Fairclough September 21, 2017

Have you ever plugged one too many devices into an electrical circuit? This can overload the circuit and damage its components. To avoid this issue, many homes have devices like electric switch circuit breakers to interrupt the current when a critical current is reached. Other types of circuit breakers are used to prevent issues in high-voltage situations, like citywide power lines. In this blog post, we discuss using simulation to study a class of heavy-duty circuit breakers: magnetic power switches.

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Bjorn Sjodin August 8, 2017

The latest version of the AC/DC Module enables you to create electrostatics models that combine wires, surfaces, and solids. The technology is known as the boundary element method and can be used on its own or in combination with finite-element-method-based modeling. In this blog post, let’s see how the new functionality can be used to conveniently set up a model that includes a number of very thin spiral wires.

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Bridget Cunningham August 1, 2017

Helmholtz coils are used by scientists to generate uniform magnetic fields to study electromagnetism and its characteristics. These devices are used in MRI, spectroscopy, magnetoresistance measurements, and equipment calibrations. Here, we’ll look at what Helmholtz coils are, why they are important, and using a simulation-based approach to their design.

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Sven Friedel June 7, 2017

Capacitance calculations in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software seem easy. If you only have two conductors, the recipe is simple: Take one conductor and set it to grounded, set the other as a terminal, and compute the solution. Then, a built-in variable delivers the capacitance. But what if you have more than two conductors, like in touchscreens, transmission lines, and capacitive sensors? If standard textbook terminology has you lost, follow along with this working example of calculating a capacitance matrix.

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Caty Fairclough May 11, 2017

In the 1800s, two scientists — Nikola Tesla and Galileo Ferraris — separately invented their own versions of AC induction motors. Such AC motors turned out to be reliable alternatives to the DC motors that were popular at the time. To accurately study induction motors, we must account for the multiple physics that occur. As today’s example illustrates, we can include the electromechanical effects using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham May 4, 2017

Permanent magnet motors are useful in various high-end applications, but they come with design limitations. One example is their sensitivity to high temperatures, which can result from heat losses generated by currents — specifically, eddy currents. Version 5.3 of the COMSOL® software includes functionality to capture eddy current losses in the permanent magnets of such motors. Engineers can use these results to better understand the full behavior of permanent magnet motors and identify ways to optimize their performance.

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Walter Frei April 20, 2017

When designing electromagnetic coils, we may want to adjust the position of the coils to achieve a desired magnetic field strength within a particular region of space. This is possible to do within the COMSOL Multiphysics® software by using the add-on AC/DC Module and Optimization Module to combine parameter and shape optimization. Let’s find out how.

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Walter Frei April 10, 2017

If you design electromagnetic coils, the combination of the AC/DC and Optimization modules with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software gives you the power to quickly come up with improved design iterations. Today, we will look at designing a coil system to achieve a desired magnetic field distribution by changing the coil’s driving currents. We will also introduce three different optimization objectives and constraints. This topic is of interest to anyone who is modeling coils or curious about optimization.

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