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PROBE- TIP IMPROVEMENT FOR SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER TESTING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021380D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jan-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 507K

Publishing Venue

Sony Technical Digest

Related People

Steven Engelking: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

In semiconductor wafer testing operations, a persistent problem is the formation of the aluminum dioxide (A102) layer on the surface of the electrically conductive aluminum die bonding-pads. The aluminum dioxide layer covers and interferes with the bonding-pads, and in order to have effective electrical contact with the test-pad, the needle's probe-tip needs to break through the layer of aluminum dioxide.

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Sony Technical Digest, Volume 3, November 2000, ISSN 1521-5180

PROBE- TIP IMPROVEMENT FOR SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER TESTING

Invention by:

Steven Engelking

Richard Deckert

In semiconductor wafer testing operations, a persistent problem is the formation of the aluminum dioxide (A102) layer on the surface of the electrically conductive aluminum die bonding-pads. The aluminum dioxide layer covers and interferes with the bonding-pads, and in order to have effective electrical contact with the test-pad, the needle's probe-tip needs to break through the layer of aluminum dioxide.

Currently, a probe-card needle may have a radiused tip that displaces the aluminum dioxide layer quite effectively. However, as the radiused tip is ground away by friction with the test-pads and the burnishing pad, aluminum dioxide debris then builds up on the tip ­electrical resistance is then created, followed by test failure.

Furthermore, the jarring effects of the tip's displacement on the test-pad, achieved through over-drive, can damage the test-pad, the die, and the tip through friction. Thus, a new approach is needed to reduce mechanical stress to the test-pads and probe needles.

Though the probe-needle technology remains basically the same, the embodiment of this invention resides in the probe-tip. The tip, defined as the entire shaft after the bend, is now subjected to an additional bend and will be truncated (see Fig. 2). Thus, the tip will now make contact with the test-pad on the lowest edge of the truncation periphery (see Fig. 2). The shape will be not unlike a shovel, which should easily break and penetrate the aluminum dioxide layer, while also requiring only a minimum of over-drive (see Fig. 4).

As with c...