CMOS chip planarization by chemical mechanical polishing for a vertically stacked metal MEMS integration

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In this paper we present the planarization process of a CMOS chip for the integration of a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) metal mirror array. The CMOS chip, which comes from a commercial foundry, has a bumpy passivation layer due to an underlying aluminum interconnect pattern (1.8 μm high), which is used for addressing individual micromirror array elements. To overcome the tendency for tilt error in the CMOS chip planarization, the approach is to sputter a thick layer of silicon nitride at low temperature and to surround the CMOS chip with dummy silicon pieces that define a polishing plane. The dummy pieces are first lapped down to the height of the CMOS chip, and then all pieces are polished. This process produced a chip surface with a root-mean-square flatness error of less than 100 nm, including tilt and curvature errors.

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Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering