Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Abhijit Chandra


Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) is a polishing process that planarizes a surface at both a local and global scale. The multi scale planarization capabilities of CMP are used extensively in the fabrication of Integrated Circuits (IC). Though a relentless reduction of feature scales have driven a continual refinement of the CMP process, defectivity levels remain problematic in current CMP processes.

Chemical Mechanical Paired Grinding is a new planarization method, developed at Iowa State University, designed to provide a marked defect reduction at feasible and economic operational conditions. Proposed is a method of planarization that utilizes insights from the operational principals of polishing and grinding by combining the strengths of fixed abrasive grinding with those of free abrasive polishing while avoiding their drawbacks. Key features of the proposed CMPG method includes: Defect Mitigation via Minimization of Maximum Force, Effective Planarization via Profile Driven Determination of Force Gradient, and Robustness via Homogenization.

Presented in this thesis is a review of past and present CMP machines, the background and conceptual development of CMPG, and the construction and testing of a prototype CMPG machine. The construction of the prototype CMPG machine, built as a proof of concept, is thoroughly documented as it exists at its current juncture of development. A set of tests that parameterize the process parameters and consumables are analyzed. The analysis provides a characterization of the planarization capabilities of the prototype CMPG machine.


Copyright Owner

David Thomas Asplund



Date Available


File Format


File Size

96 pages