Useful Information about Probe Card & Probe Needles

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The probe cards and probes themselves are an important part of wafer-level reliability testing. Many novice engineers would miss the significance of selecting the right probe cards and probes tips for the job. On the market, there are a variety of probe cards and probe manufacturers. The probe station manufacturers offer a variety of probes, configurations and tips. The cards used to test wafers in the semiconductor industry must be of great precision and stability. This is the only way to assure that the bonding pads are hit precisely over a long period of time, resulting in accurate test results.

Materials used for Probe Cards

For reliability purposes, a variety of probe materials are used. Some are discussed a under

Tungsten Based Probe Cards

Tungsten-based Probes Cards are the most frequent. Tungsten is a tough substance that can endure several bond pad interactions. Manufacturers are increasingly turning to tungsten alloys. Tungsten-rhenium is the most popular. It has superior overdrive properties than pure tungsten because it is less brittle. It’s still tough enough to break through oxide barriers on a probe pad and make excellent contact. It is also more wear-resistant than pure tungsten and is suitable for high-frequency measurements.

Beryllium-copper Based Probe Cards

Beryllium-copper is another typical Probe Cards material. Beryllium-copper has a lower contact resistance, making it ideal for high-power tests where resistance might lead to overheating. They’re also handy for electromigration testing and other measurements that require resolving minor changes in resistance. Because the tips are softer, they require more overdrive to maintain good contact over time. As a result, they are unsuitable for burn-in or life-testing applications.

Fiber Probe Tip

A fiber probe tip is another common material used. These probes, sometimes known as cat whisker probes, are beneficial in applications where circuit damage is a concern. Fiber probes have a high resistance, which is a disadvantage.

It is, nonetheless, ideal for working with symmetrical parts in scans. This is because of the specific advice provided. The tip radius varies between 10 and 15 nanometers. If you need a resonance frequency of up to 2 MHz, there is a high-speed variant available.

Different Types of Probe Needles/Tips

The probe needles in the probe card are put under a lot of pressure. They must be highly straight and have excellent electrical conductivity because of the small gaps between the individual pitches. Furthermore, they must be sufficiently elastic and have adequate mechanical strength even at high temperatures to be used over a long period of time.

Point Probe

The Point Probe is the most commonly used tip. It is versatile and easy to use when compared to some of the other options for atomic force microscope probes. SPM and AFM testing are both done with them. They are the most suitable option for high-resolution examinations. They are available with a radius for the tip ranging from 8nm to 12nm. They’re also available with a variety of tip shapes. This is significant since it enables you to personalize the design you’ll use for a specific project or type of object. You can receive the greatest use and overall outcomes from this type of tip option if you understand the variety you have and the best methods.

Ultra Short

It’s possible that you’ll need an ultra-short tip for a certain project. They’re an excellent alternative for high-speed AFM. The range of frequencies is 1.2 MHz to 5 MHz. The radius of the tip will be smaller than 10 nm.

Nitride Pyrex

The use of Pyrex Nitride atomic force microscope probes is less prevalent, but it’s still useful to know about in case you need one. They can be used for both touch and dynamic probing. For your convenience, they provide both triangular and rectangle designs. You can also obtain a probe that doesn’t have a tip.


Arrow atomic force microscope probes can be relied on for extremely specific and in-depth options. Crystal planes provide a three-sided tip that allows you to maximize where you place it and what you use it for. The difficult aspect, though, maybe determining whether to use this type of option.

Accuracy is key when it comes to microscope probes, and you can’t put your trust in just any product. You need the correct tip for the job, and you need to trust that whatever you choose will give you accurate results every time. Look for things that are well made and manufactured by a reputable brand.


Probe needles are used as connections in probe cards for a variety of applications, including Vertical probe cards, Cantilever probe cards; MEMS probe cards, Palladium Probes Material Cards. Semi Probes offers a wide range of probing needles that are dependably good in quality and delivered quickly. Take advantage of our decades of experience as materials specialists and our manufacturing technology expertise.


Inspect the tips regularly to ensure they remain sharp. They can be compromised with the data they return if they become uninteresting. When they become dull, you will need to replace them. It’s crucial to keep track of when they’re inspected and when they’re replaced. You’ll get the most out of atomic force microscope probes if you pay attention to the details.

There are numerous solutions available to you in order to achieve the desired outcomes. You can be successful if you know what to use, how to utilize it and make sure it’s in good working order. Don’t leave anything to chance; instead, concentrate on precision

Common Problem

Damage to the probes and inadequate contact between the components and the chip pads or connection are the two most common problems with probe cards. Oxidation of the bond pad surface or the probe tips might cause poor contact. The wafer may shift in relation to the probe tips because of thermal expansion. In addition, if there isn’t enough overdrive, the probes may lose touch with the surface.

Summing Up,

It’s far too critical to leave the data you’re trying to capture with atomic force microscope probes to chance. You must have complete command over the testing, variables, and approaches. This implies you must be familiar with and trust the equipment as well as how it is set up. You must also know how to use it effectively for your specific project.


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