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Material removal mechanism in chemical mechanical polishing: theory and modeling

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2 Author(s)
Jianfeng Luo ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Dornfeld, D.A.

The abrasion mechanism in solid-solid contact mode of the chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process is investigated in detail. Based on assumptions of plastic contact over wafer-abrasive and pad-abrasive interfaces, the normal distribution of abrasive size and an assumed periodic roughness of pad surface, a novel model is developed for material removal in CMP. The basic model is MRR=ρwNVol removed, where ρw is the density of wafer N the number of active abrasives, and Volremoved the volume of material removed by a single abrasive. The model proposed integrates process parameters including pressure and velocity and other important input parameters including the wafer hardness, pad hardness, pad roughness, abrasive size, and abrasive geometry into the same formulation to predict the material removal rate (MRR). An interface between the chemical effect and mechanical effect has been constructed through a fitting parameter Hw a “dynamical” hardness value of the wafer surface, in the model. It reflects the influences of chemicals on the mechanical material removal. The fluid effect in the current model is attributed to the number of active abrasives. It is found that the nonlinear down pressure dependence of material removal rate is related to a probability density function of the abrasive size and the elastic deformation of the pad. Compared with experimental results, the model accurately predicts MRR. With further verification of the model, a better understanding of the fundamental mechanism involved in material removal in the CMP process, particularly different roles played by the consumables and their interactions, can be obtained

Published in:

Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )