Accelerating Process Optimization and Consumable Development for Chemical Mechanical Planarization

Hear about our Tribolab CMP benchtop chemical mechanical polishing system that reproduces full-scale CMP process

Development of cutting-edge microelectronics has strongly emphasized on scaling semi-conductor devices and chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), is an essential technology used for local and global planarization of dielectric interlayers, polishing copper damascene architectures, tungsten vias, low-k dielectric films, and shallow trench isolation. The ever-increasing list of semiconductor devices and scaling demands necessitates a wide range of materials to be polished concurrently or sequentially, which increases the complexity of CMP and presents a continual need to optimize process design and control.

Tribolab CMP is a benchtop chemical mechanical polishing system that reproduces full-scale CMP process; providing a broad range of polishing pressures and rotational speeds, as well as coefficient of friction, acoustic emission and surface temperature data. Several variables can be changed and controlled independently in the experiments including but not limited to; relative velocity, applied downforce, wafer shape, slurry composition and viscosity, conditioning disc type and polishing pad type. Each of these parameters have different effects on the wafer-slurry-pad interactions and the experimental results are used in characterizing wafer/slurry/pad interactions; understanding material removal mechanisms, correlating contact conditions to the process parameters in a systematic way and establishing models that relate material removal rate and friction coefficient to the process parameters. Tribolab CMP is an effective tool utilized to resolve challenges faced in the development of consumables such as pad, slurry, cleaning solutions and provides insight into applications of development and future potential directions.


Kora Farokhzadeh, Ph.D.
Application Scientist, Bruker

Kora is an application scientist in Bruker’s Tribology, Stylus, and Optical Metrology Group. She got her start in tribology as a graduate student in Materials Engineering, University of Windsor, Ontario, where she focused on dry sliding wear behavior of titanium alloys. She continued that subject into her doctoral studies to investigate surface engineering of titanium alloys for simultaneous wear and fatigue improvements. Later as a post-doc, her work experience can be summarized as surface engineering subjects, including design and fabrication of erosion- and corrosion-resistant cermet thermal spray coatings, wear-resistant polymer composite coatings, and protective coatings for automotive engine applications. Kora’s current role at Bruker lies at the forefront of innovative tribology testing techniques tailored for application, involving wear resistance and friction assessment, screening materials and surfaces by scratch testing and indentation hardness, and analysis of lubricants’ performance for a variety of automotive, biomedical and microelectronics applications. As part of her work, she is an affiliated graduate faculty at Southern Illinois University, collaborating on introducing a new benchtop technique to evaluate the behavior of friction brake materials.