The effect of l-glutamic acid as complexing agent in the presence of hydrogen peroxide as oxidizer in copper chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) slurry is investigated. In the CMP process, the work surface is moved against a pad, with slurry flowing between the surface and the pad. The polish rate was found to be stable over a wide range of hydrogen peroxide concentration. High concentration of either l-glutamic acid or hydrogen peroxide leads to a reduction in polish rate, but a high concentration of both chemicals does not reduce the polish rate. In the absence of hydrogen peroxide, the Cu polish rate was 0 for all the l-glutamic acid concentrations investigated. However, potentiodynamic polarization curves do not show any sign of passivation when l-glutamic acid was present in the solution. In situ open circuit potential measurements show that copper redox reactions as well as hydrogen peroxide redox reactions contribute in determining the electrochemical behavior. We propose that l-glutamic acid inhibits the copper dissolution by adsorption onto the metallic copper, but enhances copper dissolution by complexing copper ions. The results show that it is possible to conduct controllable copper CMP in mildly acidic slurries with hydrogen peroxide as oxidizer and l-glutamic acid as complexing agent. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.