Adhesion: The state in which an ink
dot is held to a substrate by interfacial forces. The degree of adhesion
varies depending on the composition of the ink, composition of the
substrate, amount of surface contamination, and ink cure temperature.
The degree of adhesion can be determined by measuring the amount of
force per unit area required to remove the ink from the substrate.
Air Dry: An ink that does not
require heat curing. Air drying ink formulations supplied by Xandex are
the 7824, 8103, and 8104 types. Drying times vary depending on dot size,
ink type, and ambient temperature.
Appearance: General term relating to
the quality and consistency of the ink dots. Examples: Round shape vs.
irregular shape, transparency vs. opacity, consistent dot to dot size
vs. inconsistent dot to dot size.
Contamination: Any material present
on the substrate that affects the ink adhesion and/or spreading
behavior. Contamination may be organic or inorganic. Indicators of
possible contamination problems are inconsistent dot size/shape and poor
Curing: The mechanism by which
liquid ink is transformed into a solid. The two curing mechanisms
associated with Xandex inks are polymerization and solvent evaporation.
Polymerization occurs when individual molecules (monomers) bond
together to form a continuous network (a polymer). The 7224 series inks
cure via heat accelerated polymerization of epoxy monomers.
All other inks sold by Xandex cure by solvent evaporation. Solvent
evaporation curing occurs when the liquid components in the ink
evaporate, leaving only the solids. Depending on the volatility of the
solvents used in the formulation, the ink will be either air curing or
require an oven cure.
Donut: Reference to a dot that is
greater in thickness at the edges than at the center. Usually associated
with an improper inker Z-height adjustment.
Dot Profile: A description of the
dot dimensions. Included in the dot profile are dot diameter, dot
height, and any height irregularities (e.g. donut shaped).
Dry Time: For air drying inks, the
amount of time required for an ink dot of a given size to dry. Small
dots have a faster dry time than larger dots.
Dye: Organic colorants used in the
majority Xandex ink formulations. Most dyes are soluble synthetic
organic materials, as opposed to pigments which are generally insoluble
inorganic materials. Inks made from dyes are less opaque than those made
Epoxy: Resin type used in the 7224
ink formulations. Inks made with epoxy resin cure by polymerization, and
the result is a very hard ink film with good solvent resistance and
Flash Point: Temperature above which
vapors of a substance become sufficiently concentrated to cause an
explosion when exposed to a spark or open flame.
Grind: A measure of the level of
undispersed particles in the ink as measured using a grind gauge.
Ink: A liquid blend of materials
used to impart color to a substrate. The basic components of an ink are
colorant (dye or pigment), solvent, and resin.
Ink Performance Characteristics: The
characteristics inherent in a particular ink formulation. Adhesive
strength, degree of solvent resistance, cure rate, and shelf life are
all examples of ink performance characteristics.
Ink Balling: Phenomenon in which ink
works itís way up the exterior of the cartridge needle and forms a
mass. If the mass becomes large enough it can drop onto the substrate
being inked. Ink balling can result from repeatedly actuating the inker
when the Z setting is too high to allow ink droplets to deposit onto the
substrate normally. When ink balling occurs, simply wiping all the
excess ink from the outside of the needle is usually an effective
solution to the problem.
Ionic: Relating to charged atomic
species. Low ionic levels of Chloride (Cl) and Sodium (Na) are an
important characteristic of inks used in Xandex ink cartridges.
Mobil Ions: Ions which are not
bound to any other atomic species and are free to move under the
influence of an electric charge. At high enough concentrations, mobil
ions will cause shorts in semiconductor devices. To avoid the potential
of ionic contamination, many Xandex inks are certified to have low ionic
levels of Chloride (Cl) and Sodium (Na).
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Detailed
reference sheet that outlines the hazards, physical properties, required
precautions, first aid measures, and regulatory information associated a
chemical or chemical mixture. An MSDS is required for all chemicals and
chemical mixtures sold commercially.
Opacity: The optical density of a
material; the opposite of translucency. An ink droplet of high opacity
does not transmit much light and is able to hide the patterning of the
wafer beneath it.
Opaque: A substance is said to be
opaque if it possesses a high optical density that prevents the
transmittance of light.
Open Time: After priming, the amount
of time an ink cartridge can remain viable before clogging begins to
occur at the needle tip.
relative degree of difficulty involved in ink dot removal. For example,
hard cured ink dots have more permanency than soft cured ink dots.
Phenolic: Relating to a class of
aromatic organic compounds in which one or more hydroxy groups are
attached directly to the benzene ring. The majority of the inks supplied
by Xandex are phenolic in character.
substance that imparts color to another substance or mixture. Most
pigments are insoluble inorganic powders, the coloring effect being a
result of their dispersion in a solid or liquid medium.
Polymerization: A chemical reaction,
usually carried out with a catalyst, heat, or light, in which a large
number of relatively simple molecules (monomers) combine to form a
chain-like macromolecule (a polymer). Epoxy type inks cure via
Resin: A semisolid or solid
complex amorphous mix of organic compounds. Resins are one of the main
component in all inks. They are sometimes referred to as the
"body" of the ink since the composition of the cured ink film
is primarily resin. Choice of resin has a large effect on
characteristics of the ink such as ink film hardness, permanency, and
tolerance to high temperatures.
Rheology: Science of the deformation
and flow of materials in terms of stress, strain, and time. Has
important bearing on the behavior of viscous liquids.
Shear: The ratio between a stress
(force/unit area) applied laterally to a material and the strain
resulting from this force. Determination of this ratio is one method of
determining the viscosity of an ink.
Shelf Life: The maximum amount of
time a material will last before there is a noticeable degradation in
physical characteristics and performance in an application.
liquid component of an ink. Solvents used in Xandex inks are primarily
various types of glycols and alcohols.
Specific Gravity: The ratio of the
density of a substance to the density of some reference substance,
Splatter: Phenomenon that sometimes
occurs in DM-1 cartridges in which a small (1 to 5 mil) ink dot
splatters onto the substrate at the same time as the primary ink dot.
The cause is not fully established, but may be related to improper
z-height adjustment and/or certain defects in the "fishline"
portion of the cartridge needle tip.
Strength: A measure of the level of
colorant present in the ink. Strength is usually measured against a
standard of known colorant level.
Surface Energy: The
attractive force exerted by a surface. The higher the surface energy,
the greater the tendency of a liquid to spread across the surface. Inks
will generally have better adhesion on high surface energy substrates.
Surface Tension: In
any liquid, the attractive force exerted by molecules below the surface
upon those at the surface/air interface, resulting from the high
molecular concentration of a liquid compared to the low molecular
concentration of a gas. Inks with a high surface tension have less
tendency to spread across the surface of a substrate.
by which some epoxy inks cure via polymerization under the influence of
heat. Mode of curing for Xandex epoxy inks.
component added to increase the ink viscosity. Usually a combination of
fumed silica, resin, and solvent.
ability of certain inks to liquefy when agitated (as by shaking or
ultrasonic vibration) and to return to a more gelled form when at rest.
An important ink performance characteristic in some applications.
ease with which light can be transmitted through a substance. The
greater the translucency of a substance, the more light can be
device for measuring the viscosity of a liquid. The Brookfield
viscometers used for ink qualification at Xandex measure the amount of
resistive force encountered by a rotating spindle when immersed in the
internal resistance to flow exhibited by a fluid, the ratio of shearing
stress to rate of shear. Achieving the proper viscosity specification is
important in ensuring good ink performance.
Inker Hardware Terms
Actuate: To put into action or motion.
In an inker application, the firing of either the solenoid or pneumatic shuttle
on a signal from the prober.
Actuator: See solenoid.
Cartridge Body: The main plastic
portion of the cartridge.
Coil: See solenoid.
Connector: A mechanical device, which
provides a link between individual apparatus for the purpose of transferring
electrical signals, gases, and fluids between the apparatus.
Filament: A fine threadlike component
that passes through the center of the cartridge and acts as a carrier for the
ink to the wafer surface.
Fishline: See filament.
Holder: That portion of the inker
mechanism that retains the ink cartridge.
Holder Base Assembly: The assembled
holder, solenoid, plunger, and cartridge clip.
Inker Kit: A complete inker setup
including everything necessary to install and operate the inker. Including, but
not limited to the inker, controller, regulator, cartridge wrench, cartridge
opening tool, product manual, etc.
Inker Base: The main inker mechanism
which the holder or shuttle mounts to and which provides positional adjustment.
Joystick: The handle on the inker base
used for positioning of the ink cartridge.
Main Guide: The cartridge component
which retains the filament and attaches to the solenoid plunger allowing
transfer of ink to the wafer surface when the solenoid is actuated.
Manipulator: A mechanism that
facilitates the control of position.
Mounting Plate: A metal plate (usually
aluminum or steel) for mounting the inker to the prober.
Needle: The stainless steel component
of the cartridge, which retains and supports the Teflon tube.
Plunger: The portion of the solenoid
that actuates the filament component of the cartridge resulting in the
dispensing of ink dots.
Retrofit: To substitute existing
equipment or components with up to date replacements.
Solenoid: The part of the inker that
actuates the plunger, utilizing the flow of an electric current, corresponding
with a signal from the prober.
Tungsten: A fine metal wire, which
passes through the center of the cartridge and acts as a carrier for the ink. It
is used in place of the filament when there is a requirement for making smaller
dots than the filament is capable.
Calibration Bar: A
structural link used to hold precise tolerances between remotely mounted
Device Under Test (D.U.T.):
The semiconductor device or devices which is/are currently being tested
by the Tester.
Docking: The act of lowering
the test head onto the prober, aligning it and locking it into position
for test. Docking aligns the Test Head (Load Board), Interface Tower,
and Probe Card, compressing spring loaded contactor pins in the
Interface Tower between the Load Board and Probe Card. This completes
the electrical interface between the Tester and the Probe Cards Needles.
Docking Bars: Bars
mounted either to the prober head plate or prober insert ring. Roller
bearings integral to the bar engage with cams integral to the PTI.
Docking System: A
combination of mechanisms and hardware which are assembled to the PTI
and prober. The system engages and final aligns the PTI to the head
plate, and compresses the spring contactor pins against the probe card.
The PTI Linear Cams and handle linkages are part of this system.
"Floor" or "House" Facilities:
Pressurized air, vacuum and
electrical service provided by the sort floor.
electro mechanical machine that is designed to move, position and sort
packaged devices (chips that have been cut from a wafer, bonded with
wire connectors and packaged with insulating material) during package
Head Plate: AKA
Ring Carrier: plate
at the top surface of the prober which locates and supports the
Load Board: A
custom made printed circuit board which is attached to the Test Head and allows
electrical interface of the Tester electronics to the Interface Tower.
Manipulator: A carriage which
supports and allows movement of the Test Head. A manipulator may be as simple as
a hinged support frame or use counterbalancing weights, hydraulics, drive motors
or a combination of all three to offset the weight of the Test Head and cable
bundle and allow it to be moved into and out of docking position with a prober
Mechanical Interface: Consists
of a set of mounting hardware either built into or bolted to the Head
Plate which has the function of holding the Probe Card in the correct X,
Y, Z and q position relative to the wafer
chuck. Typically includes accessory hardware mounted to top surface of
the head plate designed to align the PTI to the Probe Card.
PCLBA (Probe Card/
Load Board Assembly): This Xandex
designed assembly locks together the Probe Card (and stiffener), Load
Board and Prober Tester Interface into a compact package that can be
loaded into the prober and locked into test position as a complete unit.
Pitch, Roll and Yaw: Rotational
motions around the three Cartesian axes. Nod your head to signify Yes,
thatís Pitch (motion around the X-axis). Try to touch your left or
right ear to your shoulder, thatís Roll (motion around the Y-axis).
Shake your head No, thatís Yaw (motion around the Z-axis). Combined
with X, Y and Z-axis motion, these motions collectively make up the six
types of motion a body moving in 3-space can exhibit. Pitch and Roll are
sometimes described together as "tumble."
Used synonymously with Spring
Probe Card: Printed
circuit board with needles, blades or probes attached which provides the
electrical interface between the Device Under Test (D.U.T.) and the
Spring Contact Array in the PTI.
Probe Card Needles:
Bonded to the a Probe Card, the needles
or probes are arranged in a specific pattern to contact the pads on an
individual chip (die or DUT) to transmit a test signal to the die before
it is cut from a silicon wafer.
Probe Card Stiffener:
A ring, usually machined out of aluminum
or stainless steel, which is fastened to a Probe Card. The Stiffener
supports and protects the probe card and contains alignment features for
positioning the Probe Card in the Insert Ring or Super Stiffener.
Probe Tips: The end of the
needles, blades or probes which are mounted to the Probe Card which make
contact with the die bonding pads on the D.U.T.
general term for a wafer prober; a device which handles, transports and
positions silicon wafers during the test process.
Prober-Tester Electrical Interface:
Interface. Makes the controlled impedance electrical connection between
the Test Head and the Probe Card. Has minimal capacitance, inductance
and DC resistance.
High-speed controlled-impedance (50 W)
environment low capacitance shielded cables which connect the PTI to the
PTI Linear Docking Cams: Linear
Cams on either side of the interface used to secure the interface to the
PTI Docking Cam Handles: When
rotated the Docking Cam Handles activate or deactivate the Linear Cams.
PTI Cable Management Area: Space
inside the PTI used to securely restrain cables in an organized and
easily accessible manner.
Spring Contact Array: Array
of spring contactor probes (pins) making the electrical connection from
the PTI to the Probe Card. Mounted inside the PTI.
piece of electronic equipment designed to test chips to check if they work, and
if so, how well (usually how fast) they work. Testers are usually specialized as
either memory chip testers, digital logic chip testers, or analog chip testers,
though some of the more sophisticated testers can deal with more than one of
Test Head: The
moveable portion of a Tester system, connected to the Tester using cables. The
Test Head is positioned using a Manipulator and Docked to a Wafer Prober or
Handler. The Test Head contains electronics for testing silicon devices and
routes signals back to the Tester to evaluate the device under test. The Load
Board is usually mounted to the Test Head.
X, Y, Z and Theta:
Motions relative to the center of the
Probe Card as viewed from the front of the prober. +X is motion to the
right, +Y is motion away from the operator, +Z motion is vertical motion
up from the Head Plate, and + theta is counter-clockwise angular motion
around the Z axis, as viewed from above the Head Plate.
Arm: Bracket which holds the
AutoLoader: AKA probe card
changer. Device for the mechanized change-out of probe cards.
Cam Locking Cylinder: Forces
the Cam to rotate in a clockwise direction, lifting the Super Stiffener
off of the Arm and into testing position. Locking force pushes the Super
Stiffener up against the "Z"-stop in the Theta Ring assuring
that no slack will cause an error in positioning the probe card.
Cam Ring: Mounted inside the
Theta Ring, rotated by the Cam Locking Cylinder, this ring locks the
Super Stiffener in place for testing.
Data Collection: The ability
to collect and recall touch-downs, theta correction and other use
history of a probe card. Can be accomplished using the Touch Memory
unit, or bar code and a test floor network, or both.
External I/O: A suite of
commands to operate the AutoLoader with commands from the tester or the
prober over IEEE-488 or RS-232C.
Motorized Theta: On testers
which use theta as a part of their probing methodology, allows for
faster probe-to-pad alignment by recalling theta offset data from
previous uses of a particular probe card, recovered via the Data
Collection feature. Operators can manually set theta angle by pushing
buttons on the Remote Control.
Hand: The Hand which is
attached to the end of the Arm carries the Stiffener and Probe Card
between the Theta Ring and the outside of the Prober.
Remote Control: Control Panel
for AutoLoader which is connected to the System Controller. Has input
buttons and a display for operator interaction.
Super Stiffener: Adapter
device which carries the probe card and standard stiffener into the test
area and retains the probe card and standard stiffener during the wafer
System Controller: PC-clone
based custom controller for AutoLoader.
Theta Ring: Adapter between
the Ring Carrier and the Cam Ring which allows for theta motion without
"Z"-motion. Supports and restrains the Cam Ring.
Transport Assembly: Combination
of X-slide, Z-slide, and Arm.
Touch Memoryô: Watch-battery-sized
device contains a real-time clock and 4,096 bytes of NVRAM used to
collect and store data.
Touch Memory Read Station: Box
with slot in side which provides a means of interface between the Touch
Memory unit mounted on a probe card storage box and the System
X-slide: Part of Transport
Assembly. A pneumatically-driven slide which allows for motion in the
X-axis from left (-) to right (+), when standing in front of the prober.
Z-Slide: Part of Transport
Assembly, a pneumatically driven slide which allows for motion in the
Z-axis (up and down).