Contacting / Probe Stations - manual

If individual dies or circuits are to be locked into position and contacted, a simple manual sampler is often sufficient. For different applications we offer different standard models. Naturally, a special sampler can be configured for your individual measuring tasks at any time. Do you need a higher resolution microscope? A camera? A hotchuck?

Manual Probe Station by Signatone: S-1160 (DC) and WL-1160 (RF)

The 1160 series platform is based on two versions for low-cost, compact and highly universal Probe Stations: the S-1160 is optimised for DC applications and the WL-1160 for RF applications. The main application is used to test the following test objects:

  • Semiconductor components: wafers with 4", 6" or 8" size and isolated semiconductor chips
  • Modules and circuit boards with the aid of a sample holder

Typically, the following test tasks are carried out reliably:

  • S-1160: DC parameter analysis (coaxial and triaxial I-V and C-V measurements)
  • WL-1160: RF measurements (with GS, SG, GSG or GSSG probes) and mixed signal measurements with needle cards

The operation is carried out with the following movement units:

The chuck or sample holder is moved with a cross table in x and y direction. Precise rotary knobs are used, which on the one hand allow the sample to be moved quickly over greater distances, but on the other hand also enable a positioning accuracy of approx. 5 µm. For easy insertion of the wafer, the chuck is moved out towards the front of the Probe Station. The height of the platen can be adjusted with two different devices: the linear platen lift for lifting the platen up to 9.5 mm, the fine adjustment of the platen with a rotary knob. The height of the platen in relation to the chuck is adjusted with the fine adjustment. This achieves an accuracy of about 5 µm. The linear platen lift can be used to change the test object. Therefore, the test probes are first brought up out of the danger zone with the movement lever, then the chuck is placed in the desired xy position, and finally the test probes are carefully lowered to make contact again.

Width approx. 685 mm
Depth approx. 558 mm
Height in the range 495 - 560 mm (depending on microscope)
Weight approx. 45 - 60 kg (depending on equipment)
  • Up to a maximum of 12 units of low-cost DC manipulators (e.g. S-725, S-750)
  • For high-precision DC manipulators (SP-100, SP-150) we recommend 8 units, but up to 12 units of these types can be installed
  • Up to 4 units of high precision RF manipulators (e.g. S-M50, S-M90)
  • Attachment: magnetic base or vacuum
  • Manipulators of other manufacturers possible
  • Screw threads may also be attached to the platen for fastening modules and heavy manipulators
PSDB-1160 Lightproof darkroom with electrical shielding
A-6XG Triaxial chuck for 6" wafer and measurements of currents <30 fA
A-8XG Triaxial chuck for 8" wafer and measurements of currents <30 fA
FS-160 Fine xy stage for 12.5 mm maximum movement of the chuck with 1 µm resolution
TRX Hot Chuck Different thermo chucks can be retrofitted
Microscope boom-mount

Microscope mount with boom-mount - typically used when a high-resolution microscope is not available and a larger field of view is required.

Microscope xy-stage Microscope holder with precise, manual x, y and z stages with 50 mm or 150 mm travel in x and y direction
Heavy-Duty Microscope XY-Stage Microscope holder for mounting heavy microscopes with 150 mm travel for x and y direction
Wafer Chuck Chuck with a diameter of 4", 6" or 8" with vacuum rings; surface metallisation of the chuck: nickel or gold
PCB-Holder Retaining plate with fixing threads for attaching modules or circuit boards instead of the chuck

Example for a S-1160 Probe Station

This Probe Station is operated for testing DC currents and voltages with 4 low-cost manipulators type S-725 with pivot head. With the pivot head the test probes can be swivelled in vertical and horizontal direction. The SMZ171 microscope is mounted on the 50 mm xy microscope stage. With these manipulators contacting of minimal structure sizes down to 10 µm is possible. If smaller structures are to be contacted, it is advisable to use SP-100 or SP-150 manipulators, which are simply attached with a magnetic base to the platen.

Example for a WL-1160 Probe Station

For the application with cost-intensive RF probes very high mechanical accuracy and stability is required, which is achieved with the WL-1160 and S-M50 or S-M90 manipulators. In most cases, phase-stable RF cables must be used which are rigid and thick-walled and which can exert a considerable transverse load on the test probes. Therefore, in addition to stable manipulators, very rigid and solidly constructed probe arms are necessary to which the RF probes are attached. The figure shows the setup for 2-port S-parameter measurement on an RF module using two S-M50 manipulators. Up to 4 such manipulators may be used on the WL-1160 to make precise contact in the µm range. The SMZ171 microscope with the 50 mm xy-microscope stage was also used here, which in this case is equipped with a video camera for working with a monitor.

bsw Manual Probe Station MaPS 1

The Manual Probe Station MaPS 1 developed by bsw is an inexpensive entry-level solution for contacting and sampling printed circuit boards. The Probe Station offers plenty of space for your PCB and supports horizontal and vertical contacting. You can fix your printed circuit board with the PCB holders which can be attached to the base plate as required. You are equally free in the positioning of the sample holder and the microscope. Everything is prepared quickly and easily and you have more time for your measurements such as S-parameters, signal integrity, power integrity, etc.

The MaPS 1 is available with many useful options. Besides the sample holder for all common RF-probes, holders for DC-probes or oscilloscope probes are available.

Precise measuring in fractions of a second at an absolutely favourable price. You will find further information here in our data sheet.