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Analysis of Wafer Defects Caused By Large Particles IN CMP Slurry Using Light Scattering and SEM Measurement


Kristi Nicholes
BOC Edwards, 18761 Lake Dr. E., Chanhassen, MN 55317

Mark R. Litchy and Donald C. Grant
CT Associates, Inc., 10777 Hampshire Ave. S., Bloomington, MN 55438

Elizabeth Hood and William G. Easter
Agere Systems, 9333 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32819

Venkat R. Bhethanabotla
University of South Florida, Department of Chemical Engineering, ENB 118, Tampa, FL 33620-5350


For years there has been speculation about the size of particles that cause microscratches and pitting of wafer surfaces during semiconductor chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) processes. In this study, slurry quality and the effect of “unhealthy” slurry on wafer defects were examined. Specifically, the size and concentration of particles that damage wafers were investigated. Correlations were made between wafer defects and large particle concentrations in the slurry. This information may be used to predict the onset of wafer defects due to increasing large particle concentrations. Establishing thresholds for on-line slurry PSD measurements can increase production uptime and improve product yield.

CTA publication #50: in the 2003 Proceedings of the Eighth International Chemical-MechanicalPlanarization for ULSI Multilevel Interconnection Conference (CMP-MIC), Marina Del Ray, CA, February 2003

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