The materials used for precision optics, technical ceramics and piezoelectric devices differ significantly in hardness, chemical resistance, grain structure, crystal structure and solubility, making the determination of surface finish polishing parameters all the more difficult.
Polishing is generally performed on a rotating table on which a polishing pad is affixed. A polishing slurry (abrasive, water and slurry additive) is then pumped over the surface of the pad to create an ultra-smooth finish on the work-piece. Pad types differ greatly but primarily range from very hard, non-porous pads to very soft, porous pads. Slurry abrasive ranges from alumina to zirconia and can be supplied in a powdered form, which requires mixing, or a liquid form that is used as received. With either form of slurry, the polishing process can be significantly enhanced with the use of an additive. Intersurface Dynamics has developed several specialized slurry additives formulated to maximize overall productivity and throughput by stablizing the slurry; controlling chemical etching (in the case of chemical-mechanical polishing); increasing film strength; improving the polishing rate; and decreasing cleaning issues.