Nanoparticles removal in post-CMP (Chemical-Mechanical Polishing) cleaning
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Research was performed to study the particle adhesion on the wafer surface after the chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) process. The embedded particles can be abrasive particles from the slurry, debris from pad material, and particles of film being polished. Different methods of particle removal mechanism were investigated in order to find out the most effective technique. In post-CMP cleaning, surfactant was added in the solution. Results were compared with cleaning without surfactant and showed that cleaning was more effective with the combined interaction of the mechanical effort from the brush sweeping and the chemistry of the surfactant in the solution (i.e., tribochemical interaction). Numerical analysis was also performed to predict the particle removal rate with the addition of surfactants. The van der Waals forces present in the wafer-particle interface were calculated in order to find the energy required to remove the particle. Finally, the adhesion process was studied by modeling the van der Waals force as a function of separation distance between the particle and the surface. The successful adaptation of elasticity theory to nanoparticle-surface interaction brought insight into CMP cleaning mechanisms. The model tells us that it is not always the case that as the separation distance is decreased, the attraction force will be increased. The force value estimated can be used for slurry design and CMP process estimation.
Ng, Dedy (2005). Nanoparticles removal in post-CMP (Chemical-Mechanical Polishing) cleaning. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from