Research and Development is at the core of TWI’s dedication to meeting the ever evolving needs of CMP technology and the diverse new requirements of the latest CMP processes.
TWI is committed to adapting unique approaches to CMP pad technology to push CMP performance, most notably with our introduction of the 312 solid pad. By bucking the industry-standard porous pads, TWI has developed a solid pad that, by starting as a smooth, featureless ‘blank slate,’ allows the optimum control of pad roughness through conditioner selection and process settings.
The low levels of roughness are only achievable on solid pads, which are the best pads in world topography performance. By eliminating the effects of variations in size and spatial distribution of pores throughout the pad, the solid pad provides superior consistency throughout pad life and pad-to-pad.
TWI’s original 312 pad has had significant success in tungsten applications, but the rapid increase in the variety of film materials being polished at advanced semiconductor fabrication nodes prevents a one-size-fits-all approach to pad design. To most effectively meet our clients’ needs, TWI has developed two methods to provide customers with the best solid pad technology for their application.
Firstly, TWI has developed a significant library of pad materials, with new compositions continuously being added. This allows rapid screening of a wide variety of formulations and polyurethane chemistries for any new CMP application.
Secondly, when existing materials cannot meet customer goals, or when the very highest level of performance is required, TWI works with our clients to develop custom formulations for their specific processes. By modifying polyurethane formulations, TWI can produce customized materials for any CMP application. This optimization takes into account the entire CMP ecosystem, as the optimal pad material is not simply a function of the film being polished, but includes the slurry, conditioner, process conditions and performance requirements (rate, planarity, defects, etc.) required in any given application. Our R&D team is eager to take on new challenges to provide the unique materials for specific CMP applications and the most advanced process nodes.