Abrasive Technology is pleased to announce it has applied for a provisional patent for a CMP (chemical mechanical planarization) pad conditioning method designed to provide users with increased tool utilization and cost savings.

The provisional patent describes a method where a separate CMP pad conditioning disk is used specifically for the CMP pad break-in process.

Traditionally, a single CMP pad conditioning disk was used for both the break- in process and the “in process” conditioning, which has resulted in longer pad break-in times because the “in process” CMP conditioner was not optimally suited to match the needs or requirements to break in a new CMP pad.

Additionally, since the disks often have enough life to condition more than one pad, consistency on subsequent pads during the break in and manufacturing process varies because of the degradation of the conditioner throughout its lifetime.

By utilizing two separate disks (one for the break-in process and one for “in process” conditioning), users can expect one or more of the following benefits:
–        Increased CMP tool utilization (reducing CMP pad break-in times).
–        Increased current CMP pad and “in process” CMP conditioner lifetime.
–        Improved process stability.
–        Improved CMP module cost (improved pad life, improved conditioner life, reduced tool downtime, and reduced pad break-in failure rates result in increased tool utilization).
–        Capability to customize new CMP pad break-in conditioning disks to the pad type and material specified by the customer.

Contact Mark Diaz (mdiaz@abrasive-tech.com) if you’d like more information.171

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