Authors: P.G. Murray
Affilation: Nanophase Technologies Corporation, United States
Pages: 387 - 390
Keywords: nanoparticle, ceria, alumina, polishing, CMP
Increasingly, improvements in surface roughness and planarity are being sought in a variety of technologically advanced polishing applications related to the electronics industry. From the production of photomask blanks to the fabrication of microelectronic memory and process devices, improvements in global surface planarity and roughness, coupled with reduced incidents of defectivity, are critical to achieving the specifications of future technology nodes. Nanophase Technologies Corporation uses a patented plasma arc synthesis technique to produce nano-sized cerium oxide and aluminum oxide particles in commercial quantities and quality. The small particle size, controlled particle size distribution, and unique crystal morphology of these materials are allowing new performance benchmarks to be realized in the planarization of silicon wafers and the polishing of photomask blanks, lithography optics and rigid memory substrates. However, the success or failure of a nanocrystalline material in a particular polishing application depends not only on the characteristics of the particle but also on the ability to form and maintain a stable dispersion of those particles with controlled rheology. Thus, both the attributes of the particles which provide utility in the above mentioned polishing applications as well as observations relevant to the production of stable dispersions are discussed.