Proceedings of the
9th International Conference of Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN2022)
15 – 18 November 2022, Singapore

Some numerical aspects in simulating pad conditioning coverage and density for long time conditioning process

Zhen-Pei Wanga, Zhigang Liu, Zhi-Qian Zhang, Clive S. Ford and N. Sridhar

Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR Research Entities), 1 Fusionopolis Way, 138632, Singapore


In a typical chemical-mechanical polishing/planarization process, polishing pads need to be conditioned continuously to ensure appropriate surface characteristics, which significantly affects the pad surface quality. Thus, tuning the conditioning parameters is a crucial step in chip manufacturing to achieve high product quality and reduce manufacturing cost.

The pad conditioning recipe is typically determined with expensive experimental trials. An effective pad conditioning simulation platform to model the conditioning process can significantly reduce the time and cost of the process development cycle. However, to mimic the real-life pad conditioning process, the simulation needs to trace hundreds of conditioning contact points on the conditioner continuously during the conditioning time of many hours. This makes a simulation of pad conditioning, over the whole pad for the duration of the process, very challenging.

In this work, we propose a low-cost numerical approach for simulating the pad conditioning process based on a collocation grid method. Important numerical aspects for simulation efficiency and error control are systematically analyzed and discussed. Some simple benchmark examples are performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Keywords: Pad conditioning, Simulation, Chemical-mechanical polishing/planarization, Error control, Collocation grid method

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