Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
COMPENSATION FOR SUBSTRATE DOPING FOR IN-SITU ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTIVE MONITORING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/245875
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of chemical mechanical polishing includes bringing a substrate having a conductive layer disposed over a semiconductor wafer into contact with a polishing pad, generating relative motion between the substrate and the polishing pad, monitoring the substrate with an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished to generate a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of the conductive layer, determining a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values, and at least partially compensating for a contribution of conductivity of the semiconductor wafer to the signal values.

Inventors:
LU WEI (US)
GAGE DAVID MAXWELL (US)
LEE HARRY Q (US)
XU KUN (US)
ZHANG JIMIN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/037060
Publication Date:
December 26, 2019
Filing Date:
June 13, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
APPLIED MATERIALS INC (US)
International Classes:
B24B49/10; B24B7/22
Foreign References:
US20100099334A12010-04-22
KR20160052216A2016-05-12
JP2009099842A2009-05-07
KR20170015406A2017-02-08
US20060009132A12006-01-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOREN, David J. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method of chemical mechanical polishing, comprising:

bringing a substrate having a conductive layer disposed over a semiconductor wafer into contact with a polishing pad;

generating relative motion between the substrate and the polishing pad;

monitoring the substrate with an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished to generate a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of the conductive layer; and

determining a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values, wherein determining the sequence of thickness values including at least partially compensating for a contribution of conductivity of the semiconductor wafer to the signal values.

2. The method of claim 1, comprising at least one of detecting a polishing endpoint or determining a change to a polishing parameter based on the sequence of thickness values.

3. The method of claim 2, comprising at least one of halting polishing at the polishing endpoint or adjusting the polishing parameter by the change.

4. The method of claim 1, comprising receiving a base signal value for the semiconductor wafer.

5. The method of claim 4, comprising measuring a blank doped

semiconductor wafer with the in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system to generate the base signal value.

6. The method of claim 4, comprising storing one or more initial coefficients of a function correlating signal value to thickness.

7. The method of claim 6, comprising calculating adjusted coefficients based on the initial coefficients and the base signal value.

8. A computer program product tangibly encoded on a non-transitory computer readable media, comprising instructions to cause a computer system to:

receive a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of a conductive layer of a substrate from an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished;

receive a base signal value representing a conductivity of a semiconductor wafer underlying the conductive layer in the substrate; and

determine a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values and the base signal value.

9. The computer program product of claim 8, comprising instructions to store one or more initial coefficients of a function correlating signal value to thickness.

10. The computer program product of claim 9, comprising instructions to calculate adjusted coefficients based on the initial coefficients and the base signal value.

11. The computer program product of claim 10, wherein the instructions to determine the sequence of thickness values comprise instructions to calculate a thickness value from a signal value using the function with the adjusted coefficients.

12. The computer program product of claim 10, wherein the function comprises a polynomial function of second or greater order.

13. The computer program product of claim 12, wherein the function comprises

S = W'i*D2 + W'2*D + W'3

where S is the signal value, D is the thickness, and W'I, W'2, and W'3 are adjusted coefficients.

14. The computer program product of claim 13, wherein the adjusted coefficients are calculated according to W'I = Wi

W¾ = 2S*WI + W2

W's = s2*Wi + s*W2 + W3

where s is an equivalent conductive layer thickness value representing a contribution of the semiconductor wafer to signal values, and Wi, W2, and W3 are the initial coefficients.

15. A polishing system, comprising:

a rotatable platen to support a polishing pad;

a carrier head to hold a substrate against the polishing pad;

an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system including a sensor to generate a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of a conductive layer on the substrate; and

a controller configured to

receive a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of a conductive layer from the in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished,

receive a base signal value representing a conductivity of a semiconductor wafer underlying the conductive layer in the substrate, and

determine a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values and the base signal value.

Description:
COMPENSATION FOR SUBSTRATE DOPING FOR

IN-SITU ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTIVE MONITORING

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to chemical mechanical polishing, and more specifically to monitoring of a conductive layer during chemical mechanical polishing.

BACKGROUND

An integrated circuit is typically formed on a substrate by the sequential deposition of conductive, semiconductive, or insulative layers on a silicon wafer. A variety of fabrication processes require planarization of a layer on the substrate. For example, one fabrication step involves depositing a filler layer over a non-planar surface and planarizing the filler layer. For certain applications, the filler layer is planarized until the top surface of a patterned layer is exposed. For example, a metal layer can be deposited on a patterned insulative layer to fill the trenches and holes in the insulative layer. After planarization, the remaining portions of the metal in the trenches and holes of the patterned layer form vias, plugs, and lines to provide conductive paths between thin film circuits on the substrate.

Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) is one accepted method of planarization. This planarization method typically requires that the substrate be mounted on a carrier head. The exposed surface of the substrate is typically placed against a rotating polishing pad. The carrier head provides a controllable load on the substrate to push it against the polishing pad. Polishing slurry with abrasive particles is typically supplied to the surface of the polishing pad.

One problem in CMP is determining whether the polishing process is complete, i.e., whether a substrate layer has been planarized to a desired flatness or thickness, or when a desired amount of material has been removed. Variations in the slurry composition, the polishing pad condition, the relative speed between the polishing pad and the substrate, the initial thickness of the substrate layer, and the load on the substrate can cause variations in the material removal rate. These variations cause variations in the time needed to reach the polishing endpoint. Therefore, determining the polishing endpoint merely as a function of polishing time can lead to non-uniformity within a wafer or from wafer to wafer. In some systems, a substrate is monitored in-situ during polishing, e.g., through the polishing pad. One monitoring technique is to induce an eddy current in the conductive layer and detect the change in the eddy current as the conductive layer is removed. SUMMARY

In one aspect, a method of chemical mechanical polishing includes bringing a substrate having a conductive layer disposed over a semiconductor wafer into contact with a polishing pad, generating relative motion between the substrate and the polishing pad, monitoring the substrate with an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished to generate a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of the conductive layer, determining a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values, and at least partially

compensating for a contribution of conductivity of the semiconductor wafer to the signal values.

In another aspect, a method of chemical mechanical polishing includes bringing a substrate having a conductive layer disposed over a semiconductor wafer into contact with a polishing pad, generating relative motion between the substrate and the polishing pad, receiving a base signal value for the semiconductor wafer, monitoring the substrate with an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system as the conductive layer is polished to generate a sequence of signal values that depend on a thickness of the conductive layer, and determining a sequence of thickness values for the conductive layer based on the sequence of signal values and the base signal value.

Each of these aspects can be applied as a method, as a computer program product, tangibly encoded on a computer readable media including instructions to cause a computer system to carry out operations, or as a polishing system including a controller configured to carry out operations.

Implementations of the methods, the computer program products, and/or the systems may include one or more of the following features.

A polishing endpoint may be detected or a change to a polishing parameter may be determined based on the sequence of thickness values. Polishing may be halted at the polishing endpoint or the polishing parameter may be adjusted by the change.

A base signal may be received for the semiconductor wafer. A blank doped semiconductor wafer may be measured with the in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system to generate the base signal value. One or more initial coefficients of a function correlating signal value to thickness may be stored. Adjusted coefficients may be calculated based on the initial coefficients and the base signal value. Determining the sequence of thickness values may include calculating a thickness value from a signal value using the function with the adjusted coefficients. The function may be a polynomial function of second or greater order. The function may be expressed as S = W'i*D 2 + W' 2 *D + W'3 where S is the signal value, D is the thickness, and W'I, W'2, and W'3 are adjusted coefficients. Calculating the adjusted coefficients may include calculating W'i = Wi, W'2 = 2s*Wi + W2, and W'3 = s 2 *Wi + s*W 2 + W3, where s is an equivalent conductive layer thickness value representing a contribution of the semiconductor wafer to signal values, and Wi, W 2 , and W3 are the initial coefficients.

The equivalent conductive layer thickness value may be determined from the function with the initial coefficients and the base signal value. An equivalent conductive layer thickness value representing a contribution of the semiconductor wafer to signal values may be determined based on the base signal value and the function with the initial signal values.

Implementations may include one or more of the following advantages. Possible inaccuracy of the correlation between a measured eddy current signal and a conductive layer thickness caused by doping of an underlying substrate, e.g., semiconductor substrate, can be mitigated. An adjusted eddy current signal or an adjusted conductive layer thickness using the compensating processes can be more accurate. The adjusted eddy current signal and/or the adjusted conductive layer can be used for determining control parameters during a polishing process and/or determining an endpoint for the polishing process. Reliability of the control parameter determination and endpoint detection can be improved, wafer under-polish can be avoided, and within-wafer non uniformity can be reduced.

The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other aspects, features, and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic cross-sectional view of an example of a polishing station including an electromagnetic induction monitoring system.

FIG. 2 illustrates a schematic top view of an example chemical mechanical polishing station showing a path of a sensor scan across a substrate.

FIGS. 3A-3C are schematic cross-sectional views of a substrate illustrating a polishing process.

FIG. 4 is a schematic cross-sectional view illustrating an example magnetic field generated by an electromagnetic induction sensor.

FIG. 5 illustrates a graph of an example eddy current phase signal as a function of conductive layer thickness.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

One monitoring technique for a polishing operation is to induce eddy currents in a conductive layer on a substrate, e.g., using an alternating current (AC) drive signal. The induced eddy currents can be measured by an eddy current sensor in-situ during polishing to generate a signal. Assuming the outermost layer undergoing polishing is a conductive layer, then the signal from the sensor should be dependent on the thickness of the conductive layer. Based on the monitoring, control parameters for the polishing operation, such as polishing rate, can be adjusted in-situ. In addition, the polishing operation can terminate based on an indication that the monitored thickness has reached a desired endpoint thickness.

In practice, the magnetic field generated by the eddy current sensor does not stop within the conductive layer, but can extend into the underlying substrate. Without being limited to any particular theory, the skin depth in these magnetic permeable materials for the electromagnetic frequency employed in eddy current sensor can be larger than thickness of the conductive layer and the underlying semiconductor wafer. As a result, the signal generated by the eddy current sensor can depend on the conductivity of the semiconductor wafer. If the semiconductor wafer is not doped, e.g., as typically used in “blank” wafers used for system calibration and basic substrate wafers, the electrical resistance of the wafer can be sufficiently high that the presence of the wafer does not have detectable influence on the eddy current signal. However, for actual device fabrication the wafers will typically be doped, e.g., highly doped, for various purposes. In this situation, the signal generated by the eddy current sensor can have significant contribution from the substrate, depending on the conductivity of the semiconductor wafer. As such, thickness measurement based on signals captured by the eddy current sensor can be inaccurate. However, techniques can be used to compensate for this inaccuracy, e.g., by taking into account the contribution to the signal from the semiconductor substrate.

Accordingly, the electromagnetic induction measurements, including the eddy current signals and the measured thicknesses based on the eddy current signals, are adjusted based on the conductivity of the semiconductor wafer that underlies the conductive layer being polished.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an example of a polishing station 20 of a chemical mechanical polishing system. The polishing station 20 includes a rotatable disk-shaped platen 24 on which a polishing pad 30 is situated. The platen 24 is operable to rotate about an axis 25. For example, a motor 22 can turn a drive shaft 28 to rotate the platen 24. The polishing pad 30 can be a two-layer polishing pad with an outer polishing layer 34 and a softer backing layer 32.

The polishing station 20 can include a supply port or a combined supply-rinse arm 39 to dispense a polishing liquid 38, such as an abrasive slurry, onto the polishing pad 30. The polishing station 20 can include a pad conditioner apparatus with a conditioning disk to maintain the surface roughness of the polishing pad.

A carrier head 70 is operable to hold a substrate 10 against the polishing pad 30. The carrier head 70 is suspended from a support structure 72, e.g., a carousel or a track, and is connected by a drive shaft 74 to a carrier head rotation motor 76 so that the carrier head can rotate about an axis 71. Optionally, the carrier head 70 can oscillate laterally, e.g., on sliders on the carousel, by movement along the track, or by rotational oscillation of the carousel itself.

The carrier head 70 can include a retaining ring 84 to hold the substrate. In some implementations, the retaining ring 84 may include a highly conductive portion, e.g., the carrier ring can include a thin lower plastic portion 86 that contacts the polishing pad, and a thick upper conductive portion 88. In some implementations, the highly conductive portion is a metal, e.g., the same metal as the layer being polished, e.g., copper.

In operation, the platen is rotated about its central axis 25, and the carrier head is rotated about its central axis 71 and translated laterally across the top surface of the polishing pad 30. Where there are multiple carrier heads, each carrier head 70 can have independent control of its polishing parameters, for example each carrier head can independently control the pressure applied to each respective substrate.

The carrier head 70 can include a flexible membrane 80 having a substrate mounting surface to contact the back side of the substrate 10, and a plurality of pressurizable chambers 82 to apply different pressures to different zones, e.g., different radial zones, on the substrate 10. The carrier head can also include a retaining ring 84 to hold the substrate.

In some implementations, the polishing station 20 includes a temperature sensor 64 to monitor a temperature in the polishing station or a component of/in the polishing station. Although illustrated in FIG. 1 as positioned to monitor the temperature of the polishing pad 30 and/or slurry 38 on the pad 30, the temperature sensor 64 could be positioned inside the carrier head 70 to measure the temperature of the substrate 10. The temperature sensor 64 can be in direct contact (i.e., a contacting sensor) with the polishing pad or the outermost layer of the substrate 10, which can be a conductive layer, to accurately monitor the temperature of the polishing pad or the outmost layer of the substrate. The temperature sensor can also be a non-contacting sensor (e.g., an infrared sensor). In some implementations, multiple temperature sensors are included in the polishing station 22, e.g., to measure temperatures of different components of/in the polishing station. The temperature(s) can be measured in real time, e.g., periodically and/or in association with the real-time measurements made by the eddy current system. The monitored temperature(s) can be used in adjusting the eddy current measurements in- situ.

Referring to FIG. 3 A, the polishing system can be used to polish a substrate 10 that includes a conductive material overlying and/or inlaid in a patterned dielectric layer. For example, the substrate 10 can include a layer of conductive material 16, e.g., a metal, e.g., copper, aluminum, cobalt or titanium, that overlies and fills trenches in a dielectric layer 14, e.g., silicon oxide or a high-k dielectric. Optionally a barrier layer 18, e.g., tantalum or tantalum nitride, can line the trenches and separate the conductive material 16 from the dielectric layer 14. The conductive material 16 in the trenches can provide vias, pads and/or interconnects in a completed integrated circuit. Although the dielectric layer 14 is illustrated as deposited directly on a semiconductor wafer 12, one or more other layers can be interposed between the dielectric layer 14 and the wafer 12.

The semiconductor wafer 12 can be a silicon wafer, e.g., single crystalline silicon, although other semiconductor materials are possible, e.g., gallium arsenide or gallium nitride. In addition, the semiconductor wafer 12 can be doped, e.g., with p-type or n-type doping. The doping can be uniform laterally across the wafer, or the wafer can be selectively doped, e.g., as appropriate for fabrication of transistors in integrated circuits using the semiconductor wafer. Initially, the conductive material 16 overlies the entire dielectric layer 14. As polishing progresses, the bulk of the conductive material 16 is removed, exposing the barrier layer 18 (see FIG. 3B). Continued polishing then exposes the patterned top surface of the dielectric layer 14 (see FIG. 3C). Additional polishing can then be used to control the depth of the trenches that contain the conductive material 16.

In some implementations, a polishing system includes additional polishing stations. For example, a polishing system can include two or three polishing stations. For example, the polishing system can include a first polishing station with a first electromagnetic induction monitoring system and a second polishing station with a second electromagnetic induction current monitoring system.

For example, in operation, bulk polishing of the conductive layer on the substrate can be performed at the first polishing station, and polishing can be halted when a target thickness of the conductive layer remains on the substrate. The substrate is then transferred to the second polishing station, and the substrate can be polished until an underlying layer, e.g., a patterned dielectric layer.

Returning to FIG. 1, the polishing system includes an in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system 100 which can be coupled to or be considered to include a controller 90. A rotary coupler 29 can be used to electrically connect components in the rotatable platen 24, e.g., the sensors of the in-situ monitoring systems, to components outside the platen, e.g., drive and sense circuitry or the controller 90.

The in-situ electromagnetic induction monitoring system 100 is configured to generate a signal that depends on a depth of the conductive material 16, e.g., the metal. The electromagnetic induction monitoring system can operate either by generation of eddy-currents in the conductive material, which can be either the sheet of conductive material that overlies the dielectric layer or the conductive material remaining in trenches after the dielectric layer is exposed, or generation of current in a conductive loop formed in a trench in the dielectric layer on the substrate.

In operation, the polishing system can use the in-situ monitoring system 100 to determine when the conductive layer has reached a target thickness, e.g., a target depth for metal in a trench or a target thickness for a metal layer overlying the dielectric layer, and then halts polishing. Alternatively or in addition, the polishing system can use the in- situ monitoring system 100 to determine differences in thickness of the conductive material 16 across the substrate 10, and use this information to adjust the pressure in one or more chambers 82 in the carrier head 80 during polishing in order to reduce polishing non-uniformity.

A recess 26 can be formed in the platen 24, and optionally a thin section 36 can be formed in the polishing pad 30 overlying the recess 26. The recess 26 and thin section 36 can be positioned such that regardless of the translational position of the carrier head they pass beneath substrate 10 during a portion of the platen rotation. Assuming that the polishing pad 30 is a two-layer pad, the thin section 36 can be constructed by removing a portion of the backing layer 32, and optionally by forming a recess in the bottom of the polishing layer 34. The thin section can optionally be optically transmissive, e.g., if an in-situ optical monitoring system is integrated into the platen 24.

The in-situ monitoring system 100 can include a sensor 102 installed in the recess 26. The sensor 102 can include a magnetic core 104 positioned at least partially in the recess 26, and at least one coil 106 wound around a portion of the core 104. Drive and sense circuitry 108 is electrically connected to the coil 106. The drive and sense circuitry 108 generates a signal that can be sent to the controller 90. Although illustrated as outside the platen 24, some or all of the drive and sense circuitry 108 can be installed in the platen 24.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the drive and sense circuitry 108 applies an AC current to the coil 106, which generates a magnetic field 150 between two poles l52a and l52b of the core 104. In operation, when the substrate 10 intermittently overlies the sensor 102, a portion of the magnetic field 150 extends into the substrate 10.

The circuitry 108 can include a capacitor connected in parallel with the coil 106. Together the coil 106 and the capacitor can form an LC resonant tank.

If monitoring of the thickness of a conductive layer on the substrate is desired, then when the magnetic field 150 reaches the conductive layer, the magnetic field 150 can pass through and generate a current (if the target is a loop) or create an eddy-current (if the target is a sheet). This modifies the effective impedance of the LC circuit.

However, the magnetic field 150 can also penetrate into the semiconductor substrate 12. As such, the effective impedance of the LC circuit, and thus the signal from the drive and sense circuitry 108, can also depend on the doping and resultant conductivity of the semiconductor substrate 12.

The drive and sense circuitry 108 can include a marginal oscillator coupled to a combined drive/sense coil 106, and the output signal can be a current required to maintain the peak to peak amplitude of the sinusoidal oscillation at a constant value, e.g., as described in U.S. Patent No. 7,112,960. Other configurations are possible for the drive and sense circuitry 108. For example, separate drive and sense coils could be wound around the core. The drive and sense circuitry 108 can apply current at a fixed frequency, and the signal from the drive and sense circuitry 108 can be the phase shift of the current in the sense coil relative to the drive coil, or an amplitude of the sensed current, e.g., as described in U.S. Patent No. 6,975,107.

Referring to FIG. 2, as the platen 24 rotates, the sensor 102 sweeps below the substrate 10. By sampling the signal from the circuitry 108 at a particular frequency, the circuitry 108 generates measurements at a sequence of sampling zones 94 across the substrate 10. For each sweep, measurements at one or more of the sampling zones 94 can be selected or combined. Thus, over multiple sweeps, the selected or combined measurements provide the time-varying sequence of values.

The polishing station 20 can also include a position sensor 96, such as an optical interrupter, to sense when the sensor 102 is underneath the substrate 10 and when the sensor 102 is off the substrate. For example, the position sensor 96 can be mounted at a fixed location opposite the carrier head 70. A flag 98 can be attached to the periphery of the platen 24. The point of attachment and length of the flag 98 is selected so that it can signal the position sensor 96 when the sensor 102 sweeps underneath the substrate 10.

Alternately or in addition, the polishing station 20 can include an encoder to determine the angular position of the platen 24.

Returning to FIG. 1, a controller 90, e.g., a general purpose programmable digital computer, receives the signals from sensor 102 of the in-situ monitoring system 100.

Since the sensor 102 sweeps beneath the substrate 10 with each rotation of the platen 24, information on the depth of the conductive layer, e.g., the bulk layer or conductive material in the trenches, is accumulated in-situ (once per platen rotation). The controller 90 can be programmed to sample measurements from the in-situ monitoring system 100 when the substrate 10 generally overlies the sensor 102.

In addition, the controller 90 can be programmed to calculate the radial position of each measurement, and to sort the measurements into radial ranges. By arranging the measurements into radial ranges, the data on the conductive film thickness of each radial range can be fed into a controller (e.g., the controller 90) to adjust the polishing pressure profile applied by a carrier head. The controller 90 can also be programmed to apply endpoint detection logic to the sequence of measurements generated by the in-situ monitoring system 100 signals and detect a polishing endpoint. Since the sensor 102 sweeps underneath the substrate 10 with each rotation of the platen 24, information on the conductive layer thickness is being accumulated in-situ and on a continuous real-time basis. During polishing, the measurements from the sensor 102 can be displayed on an output device to permit an operator of the polishing station to visually monitor the progress of the polishing operation.

As an eddy current monitoring system, the electromagnetic induction monitoring system 100 can be used to monitor the thickness of a conductive layer by inducing eddy currents in the conductive sheet, or to monitor the depth of a conductive material in a trench by inducing eddy currents in the conductive material. Alternatively, as an inductive monitoring system, the electromagnetic induction monitoring system can operate by inductively generating a current in a conductive loop formed in the dielectric layer 14 of the substrate 10 for the purpose of monitoring, e.g., as described in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015-0371907.

FIG. 5 shows a graph 400 that illustrates a relationship curve 410, for a given resistivity, between the thickness of the conductive layer and the signal from the electromagnetic induction monitoring system 100. In the graph 400, DSTART represents the initial thickness of the conductive layer, SSTART is the desired signal value

corresponding to the initial thickness DSTART; DFINAL represents the final thickness of the conductive layer, and SFINAL is the desired signal value correspond to the final thickness; and K is a constant representing a value of the signal for zero conductive layer thickness.

The relationship curve 410 can be represented in the controller 90 by a function, e.g., a polynomial function, e.g., a second order function, a third order function, or a higher order function. Absent the doped semiconductor wafer, the correlation between the signal S and the thickness D can be represented by the equation:

S = WrD 2 + W 2 D + W 3 (Equation 1) where Wi, W2, and W3 are real number coefficients. Thus, the controller can store the values of the coefficients of the function, e.g., Wi, W2, and W3, as well as the resistivity po for which the relationship curve 410 applies. In addition, the relationship could be represented with a linear function, a Bezier curve, or a non-polynomial function, e.g., exponential or logarithmic.

However, as noted above, the signal generated by the eddy current sensor also includes the contribution from the doped semiconductor wafer. Because the eddy currents excited in the doped semiconductor wafer and the conductive layer are independent and separated by insulating layers, the power dissipations into the doped silicon substrate and the insulated conductive film layer are additive and follow the superposition principle of the linear systems. This has been verified by experiment using Cu films on highly doped silicon wafers.

As such, the signal S can be represented as S = /(D+s) where ) is the function used to represent the relationship curve, e.g., the second order or higher polynomial function, D is the thickness of the conductive layer, and s is an equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution from the semiconductor wafer.

For example, the correlation between the signal S and the thickness D can be represented by the equation: |

S = Wr(D+s) 2 + W2 (D+s) + W3 (Equation 2)

The equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution from the semiconductor wafer can be determined by placing an otherwise blank but doped semiconductor setup wafer into the polishing station and measuring the signal S. This doped semiconductor setup wafer has the same doping as the semiconductor wafers to be used in device fabrication. For example, one blank doped semiconductor setup wafer could be fabricated per lot, and the signal S from the setup wafer can be measured. Alternatively, one device substrate per lot could be selected as a sacrificial substrate, and polished at the polishing station until the semiconductor wafer 12 is exposed, at which point the signal S can be measured. In either case, since D =0 in this situation, the equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution s can be calculated from Equation 2 above.

Alternatively, the equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution s could be determined by an operator, e.g., the fab system operator, by measuring the semiconductor wafer conductivity using another metrology system, e.g., an in-line or stand-alone system, and then converting the wafer conductivity to the equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution s using a model. An example of a metrology system to measure wafer conductivity is a four-point probe. As yet another option, the equivalent conductive layer thickness value of the doped substrate wafer can be directly measured using an in-line or stand-alone eddy current monitoring system, such as an Applied Materials iMap radial scanner.

In each of these cases, since doping should be substantially identical wafer-to- wafer within a lot, performing the compensation once per lot should be sufficient.

In some implementations, e.g., high-quality uniformly doped silicon substrates, an average equivalent conductive film thickness value can be used for compensation for all positions on the substrate, e.g., s is uniform across the substrate. However, in some implementations, the equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution s can depend on the radial position on the substrate. This permits compensation for the effect of radially non-uniformly doped substrates.

Once the equivalent conductive layer thickness contribution s is known, a modified correlation function can be determined. For example, the modified correlation between the signal S and the thickness D can be represented by the equation:

S = W'rD 2 + W , 2 D + W , 3 (Equation 3)

The controller can determine W'I, W'2 and W'3 from Wi, W2, W3 and s. For example,

W'i = Wi

W' 2 = 2s*Wi + W2

W'3 = s 2 *Wi + s*W 2 + W3

A sequence of values S(t) for the signal are received over time from the in-situ monitoring system. The value S(t) can be used to calculate a thickness value D(t) using the modified correlation function (e.g., Equation 3 above), thus providing a sequence of thickness values D(t).

In some implementations, the values S(t) are normalized. For example, a calibrated signal S' can be generated according to

S' = G*S - DK (Equation 4) where G is a gain and DK is an offset. Both G and DK can be determined experimentally for the in-situ monitoring system using a blank wafer having a conductive layer of known thickness and conductivity.

In addition, each thickness value can be adjusted based on the resistivity of the layer to provide a corrected thickness value, thus providing a sequence of corrected thickness values D'(t). The corrected thickness values can be calculated as follows:

D'(t) = D(t)*(px/po) (Equation 5) where px is the resistivity of the conductive layer, and po is the resistivity for which the relationship curve 410 (and the values Wi, W2, W3) applies.

The corrected thickness values D'(t) can be used for control of the polishing parameters, e.g., for calculation of polishing pressures to reduce non-uniformity.

Endpoint can be called when the thickness value D(t) or corrected thickness value D'(t) reaches a target thickness value DTARGET.

In addition to the substrate-to-substrate variations in resistivity, changes in temperature of the layer can result in a change in the resistance of the conductive layer. For example, the conductive layer may become hotter as polishing progresses, and thus more conductive (lower resistivity). In particular, the controller carrying out the process can also calculate a resistivity rt of the conductive layer at the real time temperature 7(t). The real time temperature T(t) can be determined from the temperature sensor 64.

In some implementations, the adjusted resistivity rt is calculated based on the following equation:

rt = px[ 1 + a (7(t) - Tm)\ (Equation 6) where Tini is the initial temperature of the conductive layer when the polishing process starts. The adjusted resistivity rt is then used in place of the resistivity px, e.g., in Equations 5 above (or in calculation of the gain and offset in Equation 4).

In situations where the polishing process is carried out under room temperature,

Tm can take the approximate value of 20°C. px is the resistivity of the conductive layer at Tm, which can be room temperature. Typically, a is a known value that can be found in literature or can be obtained from experiment.

In some implementations, the temperatures T and Tm used in adjusting the measured eddy current signal are the temperature of the conductive layer, e.g., as measured by a temperature sensor in the carrier head. In some implementations, the temperatures T and m can be the temperatures of the polishing pad or the temperatures of the slurry instead of the temperatures of the conductive layer.

The above described polishing apparatus and methods can be applied in a variety of polishing systems. Either the polishing pad, or the carrier heads, or both can move to provide relative motion between the polishing surface and the substrate. For example, the platen may orbit rather than rotate. The polishing pad can be a circular (or some other shape) pad secured to the platen. Some aspects of the endpoint detection system may be applicable to linear polishing systems, e.g., where the polishing pad is a continuous or a reel-to-reel belt that moves linearly. The polishing layer can be a standard (for example, polyurethane with or without fillers) polishing material, a soft material, or a fixed- abrasive material. Terms of relative positioning are used to refer to relative positioning within the system or substrate; it should be understood that the polishing surface and substrate can be held in a vertical orientation or some other orientation during the polishing operation.

Functional operations of the controller 90 can be implemented using one or more computer program products, i.e., one or more computer programs tangibly embodied in a non-transitory computer readable storage media, for execution by, or to control the operation of, data processing apparatus, e.g., a programmable processor, a computer, or multiple processors or computers.

A number of embodiments of the invention have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.