During chemical - mechanical planarization (CMP), a rotating wafer is pressed against a rotating pad, while a slurry is dragged into the pad - wafer interface. Here, taking into account the dependence of local material removal rate (MRR) on the slurry's chemical activity, the effects of pad groove geometry and various other process parameters on the spatial average and non-uniformity of MRR are examined. Technically, the slurry flow is calculated by following an existing approach that integrates two-dimensional fluid-film lubrication theory and contact-mechanics models. A slurry impurity transport equation is then used to calculate the impurity concentration that determines the slurry's chemical activity and hence the local MRR. The numerical results obtained here indicate that the presence of pad grooves generally decreases the average slurry impurity concentration, and increases the average contact stress on the pad - wafer interface. However, as a grooved pad has less contact area for effective interaction with the wafer surface, the average MRR may or may not be increased, depending upon the specific setting of process parameters. Meanwhile, it appears that the retaining ring generally used to keep the wafer in place also plays an important part in reducing the MRR non-uniformity.
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