A "hybrid" post Cu CMP cleaning process that combines acidic and basic clean in sequence is developed and implemented. The new process demonstrates the strengths of both acidic and basic cleans and achieves a more than 60% reduction in CMP defects, such as polish residues, foreign materials, slurry abrasives, scratches, and hollow metal, relative to an all-basic clean process. It also eliminates the circular ring defects that occur intermittently during roller brush cleans. TXRF scans confirm the reduction of AlOx defects when using the hybrid clean process. XPS spectra show similar Cu surface oxidation states between the basic and hybrid clean processes. As revealed by XRD analysis, surface Cu oxide is dissolved into aqueous solution by the acidic clean chemical. The formation mechanism of circular ring defects and the key to their elimination is discussed. © 1988-2012 IEEE.