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Method for a programmable slurry dispense arm Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019314D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 152K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method for a programmable slurry dispense arm. Benefits include improved functionality.

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Method for a programmable slurry dispense arm

Disclosed is a method for a programmable slurry dispense arm. Benefits include improved functionality.


         Conventionally, no method of controlling and characterizing the effects of slurry distribution on chemical/mechanical polishing (CMP) process performance exists that does not required extensive time and manual labor. This lack of capability has significant process impact and has hindered process optimization. Additionally, the conventional solution drifts over time and leads to process instability.

         Minimal optimization of the slurry distribution occurs due to the inflexibility of the conventional design. Its slurry dispense arm has a detent to minimize drifting, but it is not robust and the process is not well controlled (see Figure 1).

         Conventionally, CMP process development has been focused primarily on optimizing three main process parameters:

•         Operation parameters, such as pressure, velocity, and temperature

•         Slurry-related parameters, such as abrasive and slurry fluids

•         Pad characteristics

         While modulating any of these parameters individually has provided significant effects on process performance, very few experiments have been conducted for understanding and characterizing the interaction of these process conditions.

General description

         The disclosed method is a programmable slurry dispense arm. Software variables provide the capability to vary the slurry distribution profile. Additionally, the software provides the capability to determine the interaction between the slurry distribution profiler and the pad conditioning recipes. This capability supports the optimization of CMP process performance, including:

•         High and stable removal rates

•         Within wafer nonuniformity

•         Wafer-to-wafer nonuniformity

•         Defect performance

         The key elements of the disclosed method include:

•         Motorized slurry dispense arm with an option to integrate with the pad conditioner arm that both rotates about its pivot and moves linearly along the length of its arm (see Figure 2)

•         Integrated slurry dispense pad conditioning arm that enables delivered slurry to be synchronized with the conditioning profile (see Figure 3)

•         Software programmable capability that enables recipe control of the distribution profile and slurry dispense locations


         The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•         Improved functionality due to improved characterization of the slurry distribution profile on a given process to optimize the material removal r...