Solid State Technology and Devices Seminar: Understanding chemical-mechanical planarization: a ubiquitous process in modern IC manufacturing

Seminar | April 26 | 1-2 p.m. | Cory Hall, The Hogan Room, 521

 Hayden Taylor, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, UC Berkeley

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Chemical–mechanical planarization (CMP) is ubiquitous in the processing of semiconductor wafers,
where it is used to achieve flat interfaces between successive layers of circuit structures. As circuit
feature sizes reduce, CMP process innovation is constantly needed to maintain acceptable defect rates
and throughput. Polishing performance depends in complex ways on the materials being removed, the
mechanics and surface topography of the polymeric polishing pad, and the characteristics of the abrasive
slurry between the pad and wafer. A particular challenge is to engineer the mechanical properties of the
polishing pad so that it can adequately conform to the wafer surface without being overly sensitive to local
variations in the characteristics of the circuit pattern being polished.
A key CMP performance metric is planarization efficiency, which captures the ability of the process to
planarize even when the starting wafer surface is highly heterogeneous or rough. Recently, interest has
developed in multi-material polishing pads, which may be structured at the millimeter scale as a way of
enhancing die-scale planarization efficiency while maintaining wafer-scale conformation. In this talk, after
reviewing some of the current challenges in CMP, I will describe a computational framework for predicting
the dependence of planarization efficiency on pad geometry, material properties, asperity topography,
and planarized feature size., 510-642-3214