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Method for multiple-layer membrane piezoelectric force controlled probe card

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019851D
Publication Date: 2003-Oct-01

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for multiple-layer membrane piezoelectric force controlled probe card. Benefits include improved functionality.

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Method for multiple-layer membrane piezoelectric force controlled probe card

Disclosed is a method for multiple-layer membrane piezoelectric force controlled probe card. Benefits include improved functionality.

Background

         Force control is required to ensure stable contact resistance. Conventional probe card technology utilizes a prober and chuck to provide sufficient contact (see Figure 1). An additional device, a space transformer, which is typically ceramic, transforms the pitch of the wafer bumps (200 µm or smaller) to the pitch of the printed circuit board pads (500 µm or greater). The transformation enables the transfer of signal and power from the tester to the device under test (DUT).

         Membrane technology is a widely known sort entity. One of the biggest drawbacks with the technology is the difficulty of routing full-array products. Similarly, piezoelectric materials are well known.

         Active probe force control is conventionally not available in any available probe card solutions.

General description

         The disclosed method is a multiple-layer membrane comprised of signal, power, and ground elements with a piezoelectric material backing that provides force control via current introduction. The method ensures a stable contact resistance while eliminating the requirement for the ceramic space transformer.

         The key elements of the method include:

•         Multiple-layer membrane

•         Power elements for multiple power supplies, as required

•         Ground elements for multiple return paths, as required

•         Piezo-electric force control material, which expands with the application of current

•         Rigid backing plate

•         Standard printed circuit board (PCB) to interface the membrane to the tester

•         Probe tips to interface between the probe card and the wafer

Advantages

         The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•         Improved functionality due to providing active probe force control for probe card solutions

•         Improved functionality due to providing stable contact resistance

•         Improved cost effectiveness due to eliminating the requirement for a ceramic space transformer

Detailed description

         The disclosed method provides a practical method of routing full-array membrane probe cards using conventional flexible-circuit manufacturing industry techniques. Additionally, the method provides a mechanism for active probe force control, using a piezoelectric material.

         When contact to the wafer is established, a small current can be applied to the piezo-electric material, causing it to expand against the rigid backing plate and applying controlled force on the membrane. This force on the membrane causes the probes to contact the DUT with higher force, ensuring a stable contact resistance. The amount of force applied can be controlled by increasing or decreasing the level of current applied to the piezoelectric material.

         The disclosed method utilizes membrane card technology to develop full array probe cards through the use of multiple membrane routing layer...