Twelve research projects were supported by the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) Program of New York State’s Office of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) in the 2006- 2007 fiscal year. Project titles and principal investigators are listed below for each research area.

Thin Films and Coatings

Free Foam Fibers - S.V. Babu

Colloidal Dispersions and Processing

Formation of Supported Lipid Bilayers (SLB) on Physically Textured Silica Substrates - S. Minko

Process Intensification Using Narrow Channel and Rotating Tube Reactors - R. Jachuck

Technology Transfer Incentive Program for Commercialization of Process Intensification Technology to Manufacture Chemically Prepared Toners - R. Jachuck

Chemical-Mechanical Planarization (CMP)

Novel Slurry Based on Engineered Abrasives (eabrasive) for CMP - Y. Li

Optimization of Electrolytes for Copper ECMP-Y. Li

Garnet Abrasive Slurry for Tungsten Chemical- Mechanical Planarization(CMP) - Y. Li

Mechanistic Study of Microscratch Defects on Silicon Dioxide Films Polished by Ceria and Silica Particles - S.V. Babu & I. Sokolov

Optimization of Electrolytes for Copper ECMP - Y. Li, I. Suni, & G. Ahmadi


Novel Nanophosphors for High-Efficiency Fluorescent Lamps-E. Matijevic'

Supporting Technologies

Investigations on the Use of Waste Glass Powder as an Ingredient of Sustainable and Performance Enhanced Concretes - N. Neithalath

Evaluate the Dynamics of Drop Impact and Spreading on Solid Surfaces Using Numerical Simulations - J. McLaughlin


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Figure 5. Effect of post CMP clean solution on the NiP surface that is contaminated by Ni(OH)2 particles.

Post-CMP Cleaning on NiP Disc

Working with Vladimir Kompan and his team at ASPT, postdoctoral research associate Qunhui Yuan and CAMP Professor Yuzhuo Li, investigated various aspects of post-CMP cleaning mechanisms and solutions for computer hard drive manufacturing processes such as NiP and high precision glass disks. In recent years, in addition to applications in IC manufacturing, chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) has rapidly spread into the computer hard drive industry to meet the increasing demand for local and global planarization of various substrates. More recently, post CMP cleaning or conditioning of the polished surface has become a limiting step for yield. The cleaning/conditioning step must thoroughly remove all residual chemicals and particles as well as various nano asperities which may affect subsequent processing steps. In this work, researchers prepared NiP discs contaminated with NiO particles and then subsequently conditioned them using various cleaning solutions. Dark-field and scanning electron microscopes were used to examine the amount of particles on the surface before and after cleaning. The pH effect of the cleaning solution was also investigated. See Figure 5.

Effect of Pump Induced Particle Agglomeration on Metal Polishing

Working with Reto Schoeb of Levitronix, CAMP Professor Yuzhuo Li and graduate student Yongqing Lan, investigated the effect of various pumps on the particle aggregation behavior for CMP applications. In recent years, chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) has become an essential technology in the manufacturing of advanced microelectronic devices. Specific applications in the IC industry range from planarization of pre-metal/inter-level dielectrics (PMD/ILD CMP) to fabrication of micro-structures via damascene processes (STI, W, and Cu CMP). Similarly, the technology has also spread out to other associated fields such as MEMS, NEMS, and computer hard drives. Although diverse, one common theme among all these applications is a trend of decrease in feature size and defect count. In order to accomplish these goals at the same time, the CMP process and the materials involved in the process must be significantly improved. There have been a variety of reported types of defects, including delaminated film interfaces, pits, scratches, and chemical and physical changes in film structures. One common source or origin of such defects is the surface-damaging events during device fabrication. Among them, defects created by the contamination of oversize particles via the formation of microscratches and pitting as initial events are commonly seen. Although detailed mechanistic understanding of these processes remains elusive, a general link between the presence of large particles and total defect counts has been established. This has encouraged the development of new analytical methods and techniques for the characterization of the abrasive particles in CMP slurries. In addition to the attention paid to remove oversized particles in CMP slurry during the manufacturing process, the chain of slurry delivery and handling has also received increased scrutiny. The correlation between pump types and oversized particle growth in slurry has been reported. The objective of this study is to illustrate the effects of magnetically levitated centrifugal (MLC) and bellows pumps on particle agglomeration. Moreover, the performance of treated slurry is tested in NiP and Cu polishing.

In this study, two commercial pumps are employed to study the particle agglomeration in slurry distribution. Several particle sizing techniques, including dynamic light scattering, micro-flow imaging™ (MFI), single particle optical sensing (SPOS), are utilized to characterize the oversize particles induced by the pump distribution process. See Figure 6. The large particle count (LPC) of colloidal silica slurries is evaluated and correlated with scratch and surface roughness created on wafers in polishing.

Figure 6. Effect of pumps on surface defects shown by their corresponding 3D optical profilometry images (left = without pump recirculation, right = diaphragm pump, and middle = Levitronix BPS4 pump).