Calibration and validation of coarse-grained models of atomic systems: application to semiconductor manufacturing

K Farrell and JT Oden, COMPUTATIONAL MECHANICS, 54, 3-19 (2014).

DOI: 10.1007/s00466-014-1028-y

Coarse-grained models of atomic systems, created by aggregating groups of atoms into molecules to reduce the number of degrees of freedom, have been used for decades in important scientific and technological applications. In recent years, interest in developing a more rigorous theory for coarse graining and in assessing the predictivity of coarse- grained models has arisen. In this work, Bayesian methods for the calibration and validation of coarse-grained models of atomistic systems in thermodynamic equilibrium are developed. For specificity, only configurational models of systems in canonical ensembles are considered. Among major challenges in validating coarse-grained models are (1) the development of validation processes that lead to information essential in establishing confidence in the model's ability predict key quantities of interest and (2), above all, the determination of the coarse-grained model itself; that is, the characterization of the molecular architecture, the choice of interaction potentials and thus parameters, which best fit available data. The all-atom model is treated as the "ground truth," and it provides the basis with respect to which properties of the coarse-grained model are compared. This base all-atom model is characterized by an appropriate statistical mechanics framework in this work by canonical ensembles involving only configurational energies. The all-atom model thus supplies data for Bayesian calibration and validation methods for the molecular model. To address the first challenge, we develop priors based on the maximum entropy principle and likelihood functions based on Gaussian approximations of the uncertainties in the parameter-to-observation error. To address challenge (2), we introduce the notion of model plausibilities as a means for model selection. This methodology provides a powerful approach toward constructing coarse-grained models which are most plausible for given all-atom data. We demonstrate the theory and methods through applications to representative atomic structures and we discuss extensions to the validation process for molecular models of polymer structures encountered in certain semiconductor nanomanufacturing processes. The powerful method of model plausibility as a means for selecting interaction potentials for coarse-grained models is discussed in connection with a coarse-grained hexane molecule. Discussions of how all-atom information is used to construct priors are contained in an appendix.

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