wear mechanism, material removal mechanism, three-body abrasive wear, chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), molecular dynamics simulation


Current three-body abrasive wear theories are based on a macroscale abrasive indentation process, and these theories claim that material wear cannot be achieved without damaging the hard mating surface. In this study, the process of three-body nano-abrasive wear of a system including a single crystalline silicon substrate, an amorphous silica cluster, and a polyurethane pad, based on a chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process, is investigated via molecular dynamics simulations. The cluster slid in a suspended state in smooth regions and underwent rolling impact in the asperity regions of the silicon surface, realizing non-damaging monoatomic material removal. This proves that indentation-plowing is not necessary when performing CMP material removal. Therefore, a non-indentation rolling-sliding adhesion theory for three-body nano-abrasive wear between ultrasoft/hard mating surfaces is proposed. This wear theory not only unifies current mainstream CMP material removal theories, but also clarifies that monoatomic material wear without damage can be realized when the indentation depth is less than zero, thereby perfecting the relationship between material wear and surface damage. These results provide new understanding regarding the CMP microscopic material removal mechanism as well as new research avenues for three-body abrasive wear theory at the monoatomic scale.

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