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Chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) of metals is described as mechanically accelerated corrosion, erosion corrosion, or metallic corrosion enhanced by wear. This article reviews the history, process, chemistry, electrochemistry, and defect issues for CMP. It provides an overview of CMP through a schematic illustration of CMP process equipment. The applications of CMP to tungsten and copper alloys are of prime interest in the semiconductor industry. The article discusses copper CMP and tungsten CMP in detail and analyzes polishing mechanism during CMP by application of direct current potentiodynamic polarization and alternating current impedance measurements. It concludes with information on chemically induced defects such as pitting corrosion, galvanic corrosion, and chemical etching.

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