Process Optimization and Fundamental Consumables Characterization of Advanced Dielectric and Metal Chemical Mechanical Planarization
Pad surface Micro-Texture
Chemical Mechanical Engineering
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation presents a series of studies related to the characterization and optimization of consumables during Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP). These studies are also evaluated with the purpose of reducing the cost of ownership as well as minimizing the potential environmental impacts. It is well known that pad-wafer contact and pad surface micro-structure have significant impacts on polishing performance. The first study in this dissertation investigates the effect of pad surface contact and topography on polishing performance during copper CMP. Two different types of diamond discs (3M A2810 disc and MMC TRD disc) are used to condition the polishing pad. Pad surface contact area and topography are analyzed using laser confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to illustrate how variations in pad surface micro-texture affect the copper removal rate and the coefficient of friction (COF). Polishing results show that the 3M A2810 disc generates significantly higher COF (16%) and removal rate (39%) than the MMC TRD disc. Pad surface analysis results show that the 3M A2810 disc and MMC TRD disc generate similar pad surface height probability density function and pad surface abruptness. On the other hand, the MMC TRD disc generates large flat near contact areas that correspond to fractured and collapsed pore walls while the 3M A2810 disc generates solid contact area and clear pore structures. The fractured and collapsed pore walls generated by the MMC TRD disc partly cover the adjacent pores, making the pad surface more lubricated during wafer polishing and resulting in a significantly lower COF and removal rate. In the next study, the individual "large" pad surface contact areas are differentiated from the "small" contact areas and their role in copper CMP is investigated. Surface topography and the structure of a typical individual large contact area are examined via laser confocal microscopy and SEM. In addition, the Young's Modulus of the pad surface material is simulated. A case study is presented to illustrate the role of the individual large contact area of IC1000 K-groove pad in copper CMP. SEM analysis shows that the individual large pad surface contact areas are induced by fractured pore walls and loosely attached pad debris. Simulation results indicate that individual large contact areas correspond to very low values of the Young's modulus (about 50 MPa). Such low values indicate that the pad material is soft and the summit underlying the individual large contact is not fully supported. As a result, individual large contact area implies low contact pressure and may contribute little to removal rate. Case study results confirm that the individual large contact area has minimal contribution to removal rate and indicate that the removal rate is mainly caused by small individual contact areas. In our case, small contact areas correspond to those smaller than 9 square microns. We believe that this methodology can be also applied for other kinds of pad, although the threshold values that may define "small" and "large" individual contact areas for different pads and processes need to be further investigated. In the third study, the effect of pad surface micro-texture in interlayer dielectric CMP is also investigated. Blanket 200-mm oxide wafers are polished and the polishing pad is conditioned under two different conditioning forces (26.7 and 44.5 N). Results show that when conditioning force is increased from 26.7 to 44.5 N, oxide removal rate increases by 65% while COF increases by only 7%. Pad surface contact area and topography are measured and analyzed to illustrate their effects on the oxide removal rate. While the two conditioning forces generate similar pad surface abruptness, pad surface contact area is significantly lower (by 71%) at the conditioning force of 44.5 N. Such dramatic decrease in pad surface contact area leads to a significant increase in local contact pressure and therefore results in a significant increase in oxide removal rate. The oxide removal rate and local contact pressure exhibits a Prestonian relationship. Besides the above studies on the effect of the pad surface micro-texture during blanket wafer polishing, the fourth study investigates how pad micro-texture affects dishing and erosion during shallow trench isolation (STI) patterned wafer polishing. Two different types of diamond discs (3M A2810 disc and MMC TRD disc) are used to condition the pad during wafer polishing. Dishing and erosion analysis for the patterned wafer polishing is performed using a surface profiler. To illustrate the effect of pad surface micro-texture on dishing and erosion, pad surface abruptness and mean pad summit curvature are analyzed using laser confocal microscopy. Polishing results show that the two discs generate similar blanket wafer removal rates, while the MMC TRD disc generate significantly higher dishing and erosion than the 3M A2810 disc during patterned wafer polishing. Results of pad surface micro-texture analysis show that the MMC TRD disc generates sharper asperities with higher mean pad summit curvature than the 3M A2810 disc, resulting in higher dishing and erosion. Another contribution of this dissertation is the development of a slurry film thickness quantification technique using ultraviolet-enhanced fluorescence. The technique is developed to measure slurry film thickness at any location of interest. In the next study of this dissertation, this new technique is applied to determine how two different slurry application/injection schemes (standard pad center area application method and novel slurry injection system) along with various polishing conditions such as sliding velocity, ring pressure and slurry flow rate affect slurry availability in the bow wave region of the polisher. For the standard pad center area application method, slurry is directly applied onto the pad center area and a large amount of fresh slurry flow directly off the pad surface without flowing to the pad-retaining ring interface due to the centrifugal forces. For the novel slurry injection system, slurry is introduced through an injector that is placed adjacent (<3 cm) to the retaining ring on the pad surface. Such a close distance between the injector and retaining ring allows most of the fresh slurry to be delivered efficiently to the leading edge of the retaining ring after it is injected onto the pad surface. Results show that the novel slurry injection system generates consistently thicker bow waves (up to 104 percent) at different sliding velocities, slurry flow rates and ring pressures, therefore providing more slurry availability for the pad-retaining ring interface and potentials for slurry consumption reduction in CMP processes. First order calculations yield estimates of slurry savings associated with the novel slurry injection system ranging between 8 and 48 percent depending on specific process conditions. In the last study of this dissertation, the effect of retaining ring slot design and polishing conditions on slurry flow dynamics at the bow wave is investigated. The ultraviolet-enhanced fluorescence technique is employed to measure the slurry film thickness at the bow wave for two retaining rings with different slot designs. Multiple sliding velocities, slurry flow rates and ring pressures are investigated. Results show that the retaining ring with the sharp angle slot design (PEEK-1) generates significantly thicker (on average 48%) slurry films at the bow wave than PEEK-2 which has a rounded angle slot design. For PEEK-1, film thickness at the bow wave increases with the increasing of flow rate and ring pressure and decreases with the increasing of sliding velocity. On the other hand, film thickness at bow wave does not change significantly for the PEEK-2 ring at different polishing conditions indicating an apparent robustness of the PEEK-2 design to various operating conditions. With retaining rings having different designs, and all else being the same, a thinner bow wave is preferred since it is indicative of a ring design that allows more slurry to flow into the pad-wafer interface. Therefore, the work underscores the importance of optimizing retaining ring slot design and polishing conditions for efficient slurry utilization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College