We present a new model for dishing and erosion during chemical-mechanical planarization. According to this model, dishing and erosion is controlled by the local pressure distribution between features on the wafer and the polishing pad. The model uses a contact mechanics analysis based on the work by Greenwood to evaluate the pressure distribution taking into account the compliance of the pad as well as its roughness. Using the model, the effects of pattern density, line width, applied down-force, selectivity, pad properties, etc. on both dishing and erosion can be readily evaluated. The model may be applied to CMP used for oxide planarization, metal damascene or shallow trench isolation.
The model is implemented as an algorithm that quickly calculates the evolution of the profile of a set of features on the wafer during the polishing process. With proper calibration of the process parameters, it can be used as a tool in optimizing the CMP process and implementing CMP design rules.