S??ss MicroTec banks on ATM in new 3D probe station


Süss MicroTec recently added to its lineup of 3D integration tools (wafer bonders and lithography equipment) with the PA300PS 3D probe station, targeting 300mm electrical probing of 3D stacked structures at the wafer-level. Among the features is an alignment function for vertical probe card technologies (MicroAlign), with an automated thermal management (ATM) system for active thermal compensation at various test temperatures.

With automated testing at multiple temperatures in relation to small targets, one must consider thermal expansion and movements in the entire system when probing them, explained Stojan Kanev, director of marketing and product management at Süss MicroTec. "The ATM system adapts the probe station automatically to the different temperatures using sensors that tell the machine to control the right amount of dew ambient air and air purging, which minimizes thermal expansion," he told SST. The ATM also enables the system to get to thermal equilibrium more quickly, he noted, because stage and chuck target temperatures can be set independently.

Vertical probe cards have the disadvantage of the operator not being able to see from the top, Kanev noted. "Being able to view from the side [(via ContactView technology, another product feature] ensures that the expensive probe cards are protected during the operation," he said.

Kanev also emphasized the importance of having a stable, accurate z-axis design to provide "minimal deflection independent of the load." The system's wedge design supporting the whole wafer area, as well as the z-axis feature, enables simultaneous control of overtravel and contact quality on the pads, he said. — D.V.

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