Probing

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Microprobing involves using a micro-positioner with a precision needle under a microscope to to either measure or induce voltages onto an IC. This is very similar to how you might use a multimeter on a circuit board but at a much smaller scale.

A probing station is essential for live analysis. The quality (tip size, stiffness, etc) varies considerably within and across manufacturers. Want to send me your equipment for an evaluation? I'll be more than happy to get some samples ;) This page is mostly focused on mechanical probing stations. Probing cards also might be useful, need to look into them.

mcmaster general recommendations:

  • General purpose probing (bond pad, low frequency traces)
  • Chose Signatone since popularity made things easy to get
  • Micromanipulator also not a bad choice, although people warned me to stay away from Cartesian positioners
  • High frequency
  • I haven't had need for these yes
  • Cascade Microtech might be a good choice
  • Signatone partners with them for their high end probes

Tutorials

Includes:

Objective

Use long working distance objectives

Mitutoyo M Plan Apo are pretty industry standard. Consider using SL for 50x and 100x. I've heard that enpdv objectives are a decent quality low cost alternative, but I've never used them

A good lower price option are B&L Industrial objectives. These are finite objectives and seem to be dominant in that era of microscope equipment.

Vendors

CascadeMicrotech

GigaTest Labs

KeithLink

LakeShore Cryotonics, Inc.

Seem to be mostly intended for cryogenics, but might also be suitable for room temperature work.

Micromanipulator

Probing Solutions Inc

Signatone

Main page

Seems to be a popular manufacturer. Their equipment can be readily found on the surplus market. Quality varies from model to model.


quater-research

http://www.quater-research.com/

http://www.miller-design.com/micropositioners.htm

Relatively low price