Four Pyramid Probe Card Cleaning Methods to Avoid
February 7, 2019
As you can imagine, there are cleaning methods to avoid that are actually common within the industry will damage Pyramid Probe Cards. These methods must not be used with Pyramid Probe Cards under any circumstances. Irreversible damage to your Pyramid Probe may result.
When it comes to maximizing the life of your Pyramid Probe® Cards, cleaning them is paramount. Online cleaning by touching down on an abrasive is the most effective way to control contact resistance (Rc) and to clean resistive buildup off Pyramid Probe tips. Abrasive cleaning media can be divided into four categories:
- Lapping films
- Abrasive-loaded elastomers
- Coated foams
- Soft-backed lapping films
You can check out this blog to help you get the most from your Pyramid Probe Cards. As you can imagine, there are cleaning methods to avoid that are actually common within the industry will damage Pyramid Probe Cards. These methods must not be used with Pyramid Probe Cards under any circumstances. Irreversible damage to your Pyramid Probe may result.
- Tungsten carbide, silicon carbide, alumina or other ceramic plates: Even if they are similar to the Allied 3μm diamond lapping film in grit size, probing on these surfaces will quickly grind away Pyramid Probe tips.
- Non-qualified chemicals: Many chemicals are not compatible with the materials used in Pyramid Probe cores. Refer to our application note, Pyramid Probe Core Off-line Cleaning With a Brush, (PDF) for a list of qualified chemicals.
- Soft-backed lapping films: Using soft backed lapping films applies uneven pressure on the probe tips. This causes uneven wear on the probe tips and reduces the coplanarity of the probe tips; especially at the edges or corners of an array of tips. The overtravel requirement would increase with time. This type of cleaning material should not be used to clean Pyramid Probes.
Examples of soft-backed lapping films:
- MIPOX PF3 types, for example, GC6000-PF3 and GC8000-PF3
- 3M Type CL (cushion layer)
- Stacked layers of cleaning films to create the equivalent of a soft-backed lapping film
- Lapping films with the abrasive contained in ceramic beads: The ceramic beads are large and damage the probe tips. They are also brittle and can shatter, causing a lot of contamination on the face of the probe. This type of cleaning material should not be used to clean Pyramid Probes.
Examples of lapping films with ceramic beads containing abrasive:
- Allied High Tech Products, Type B lapping films
- 3M Type B lapping films
You can also check out this blog – Probe Card Cleaning 101: Protecting Your Probe Card Investment – for additional details on cleaning methods.