The direct copper plating on resistive non-copper substrates is studied using a multi-scale
modeling approach. A micro-scale nucleation model is coupled with the macro-scale current
distribution model to predict the coalescence thickness and the thickness profile on a wafer.
Simulation results show that the coalescence thickness may vary significantly with the distance from
the wafer edge. The simulation tool is applied to the study of different factors involved in the plating
process, including the propensity to nucleate on a given substrate, suppressor additives, substrate
conductivity and the input current. The collective effects of these factors on nucleation and front
propagation are investigated. High nucleation density and low coalescence thickness are demonstrated
on a resistive substrate by introducing suppressor additives and ramping current in the plating.