Abrasive Wear Task Group Begins Work on Chemical-Mechanical Polishing Standard

ASTM Committee G02 on Wear and Erosion has committed itself to standardizing the chemical-mechanical polishing process by creating a task group to develop a proposed new standard, tentatively titled Test Method for Wear and Friction Testing of Polishing Pads, Slurries and Pad Conditioners in Chemical-Mechanical Polishing (CMP). This activity, which has been assigned ASTM work item number WK5036, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee G02.30 on Abrasive Wear.

Chemical-mechanical polishing has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the semiconductor industry for the past 10 years. However, interest in chemical-mechanical polishing has not been limited to semiconductors thousands of chemical-mechanical polishers are currently being used in the precision glass, optics, and magnetic media, as well as other high-tech industries.

Despite the popularity of chemical-mechanical polishers, growth of the CMP industry has been limited due to a lack of standardization. For example, there has been no incoming inspection of CMP consumables such as polishing pads, slurries and pad conditioners in the industry, resulting in dramatic process fluctuations. In addition, there has been a lack of test procedures and test equipment to characterize CMP materials.

"The proposed new standard will help the high-tech industry to collaborate in developing the standardized effective test procedures for CMP materials," says Norm Gitis, Center for Tribology, who also notes that all interested parties are invited to join the task group. "The work on the standard has been started and we are looking for collaborators from various industries and academia."

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