Using a reference slurry, ammonium dodecyl sulfate (ADS), an anionic and environmentally friendly surfactant, was investigated as an alternative to BTA for its inhibition and lubrication characteristics. Results demonstrated that the inhibition efficiency of ADS was superior to that of BTA. Coefficient of friction (COF) was the lowest when the slurry contained ADS. This suggested that adsorbed ADS on the surface provided lubricating action thereby reducing the wear between the contacting surfaces. Temperature results were consistent with the COF and removal rate data. ADS showed the lowest temperature rise again confirming the softening effect of the adsorbed surfactant layer and less energy dissipation due to friction. Spectral analysis of shear force showed that increasing the pad-wafer sliding velocity at constant wafer pressure shifted the high frequency spectral peaks to lower frequencies while increasing the variance of the factional force. Addition of ADS reduced the fluctuating component of the shear force and the extent of the pre-existing stick-slip phenomena caused by the kinematics of the process and collision event between pad asperities with the wafer. By contrast, in the case of BTA, there were no such observed benefits but instead undesirable effects were seen at some polishing conditions. This work underscored the importance of real-time force spectroscopy in elucidating the adsorption, lubrication and inhibition of additives in slurries in CMP. Copyright The Electrochemical Society.