The results of copper Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) experiments with a model slurry chemistry based on the combination of Glycine-water-Benzotriazole (Gly-H2O2-BTA), and different types of composite A (silane coupling agents between the polymer core and the silica shell) and B (electrostatic attraction between the polymer core and the silica shell) abrasives, are presented. While the presence of BTA allows a ten-fold reduction in the static etch rate from 95 nm/min. to 10 nm/min., combining oxidizer and complexing agent leads to removal rates higher than 400 nm/min. Different surface morphology and RMS roughness are observed after polishing with composite abrasives and different peroxide concentrations. Oxidizer concentrations as low as 0.1 vol.% lead to high non-uniformity and defectivity values. In particular, composite B performs better than pure colloidal/fumed silica during copper CMP using the IC-1000 pad, giving comparable Material Removal Rate (MRR), but a better surface finish due to the contribution of the elasticity of the polymer in gently transferring the applied load to the wafer surface. Cu CMP with pure polymer particles is a promising alternative to the hard inorganic material especially if combined with suitable surfactants that act from both particle stabilization and friction reduction / lubrication improvement perspectives.
The use of the medium/high-hardness pad IC-1000 is compared to the use of a soft Politex pad. In the former case, differences in terms of MRR, MRS roughness, and total defects are observed between the composite abrasives A and B; in the latter case, the behaviour of the two composites is similar. In the case of a soft pad in combination with composite abrasives, there is a remarkable improvement in the defectivity without any loss in MRR.
As revealed by SEM inspection of the composite particles collected in the slurry drain after CMP, for all the composites, the silica shell coverage is not disrupted by the shear forces and chemistry during the 1 min. polishing. Consequently, the stability and agglomeration properties of the particles in the complex Cu CMP chemistry can be helpful in explaining the experimental results in terms of MRR and surface finishing.