Adhesion between abrasive particles and surfaces being polished plays an important role in chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) processes. The changes in particle - surface and particle – particle interactions can significantly influence the effectiveness of material removal and cleaning methods. To determine the adhesion between actual abrasive particles and different surfaces treated by the CMP process a method employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique is being developed.
The monolayer of silica abrasive nanoparticles was deposited on silicon wafer covered with polymer anchoring layer. High affinity of the thin polymer film to the particles and wafer ensures the stability of particles monolayer on the surface during measurements. AFM cantilever was modified with attachment of 20-40 microns hollow glass bead (representing a flat surface), which then was covered with copper using physical vapor deposition technique. Force-distance curves were collected employing AFM force volume mode and used to calculate the adhesion value. The effect of different factors (such as pH, presence of surfactants) on adhesion between copper surface and silica slurry has been studied.