top of page

Do you have the correct hardness in your CMP polishing pads?

In the Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) process, polishing pads play a crucial role in achieving the desired surface finish on semiconductor wafers. The hardness of the polishing pads is a critical factor that can affect the efficiency and quality of the polishing process. Generally, polishing pads are made of a polymeric material, such as polyurethane, and their hardness is measured on the Shore durometer scale.

The hardness of polishing pads is usually specified in terms of durometer hardness, which is measured using a durometer instrument. The Shore durometer scale is commonly used for this purpose, and there are different durometer scales (e.g., Shore A, Shore D) depending on the hardness range of the material.

Here are some key points regarding the hardness of polishing pads in the CMP process:

  1. Selection of Hardness:

    • The selection of pad hardness depends on the specific requirements of the CMP process and the type of material being polished.

    • Softer pads (lower durometer) are generally used for polishing softer materials to avoid damage to the substrate.

    • Harder pads (higher durometer) may be used for polishing harder materials or for achieving faster material removal rates.

  1. Material Compatibility:

    • The hardness of the polishing pad should be compatible with the material of the wafer being polished. This is to ensure that the pad effectively removes material without causing damage to the wafer surface.

  1. Pad Conditioning:

    • The hardness of the pad can change over time due to wear and conditioning. Periodic conditioning processes are often employed to maintain the desired pad properties.

  1. Uniformity:

    • Uniformity of pad hardness is essential to ensure consistent polishing across the entire wafer surface.

  1. Process Optimization:

    • Optimal pad hardness is often determined through a combination of experimentation and process optimization to achieve the desired material removal rates and surface finish.

It's important to note that advancements in CMP technology and pad materials may lead to the development of new formulations with tailored hardness characteristics. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the specific durometer hardness recommended for CMP pads may vary based on the latest developments and specific applications in the semiconductor industry. For the most up-to-date information, it's recommended to consult the latest literature, industry guidelines, or equipment suppliers in the field of semiconductor manufacturing.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Is there a difference in diamond slurries?

PC diamond (Polycrystalline Diamond) and MA diamond (Monocrystalline Diamond) slurries are two types of diamond slurries used in the field of lapping and polishing for various applications. Here are s


bottom of page