Performance of Ni-alloy MEMS-probes coated with PdCo films in semiconductor wafer test

Bahadir Tunaboylu


A novel electroplating system and approach for selectively coating of probe tips for wafer and package testing are presented. A Ni-alloy probe tip with an overcoat layer of 3.5um thick PdCo provided less tip wear and better electrical contact resistance performance in wafer testing. Microstructures of films resulting from different conditions of electroplating process were analyzed, most uniform films were obtained at 5 mA of plating current conditions. The probe tip wear throughout probe life testing was monitored which indicates PdCo film with Au underlayer establishes good electrical contacts.


Wafer test, electroplating PdCo films, probes, contact resistance

Full Text:



B. Prior, “Packaging and interconnect trends,” Burn-in Test Workshop, San Diego, CA, USA, 2014, S1.

E. Smith, J. Kumnick, B. Quimby, and A. Klein, “Next generation probe alloys,” Semiconductor Wafer Test Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 2013, S27.

R. Grimm, M. Hegazy, D. Linjianjun and R. Chen, “3D TSV Cu pillar probing challenges and experience,” Semiconductor Wafer Test Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 2014, S20.

B. Tunaboylu, “Testing of copper pillar bumps for wafer sort,” IEEE Trans. on Comp. and Pack. Tech., 2012, 99(6), 985.

S. Theppakuttai, B. Tunaboylu and J. Hicklin, “Probing Assessment on Fine Pitch Copper Pillar Solder Bumps,” Semiconductor Wafer Test Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 2010, S08.

S. Angles and R. Vallauri, “Addressing 80 µm pitch Cu Pillar Bump Wafer probing: Technoprobe TPEG™ MEMS solution,” Semiconductor Wafer Test Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 2014, S19.

A. Wittig, A. Leong, T. Nguyen, T. Masi, J. Kister and M. Slessor, “Key considerations to probe Cu in high volume production,” Semiconductor Wafer Test Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, 2014, S18.

T. E. Buckheit, D. A. Lavan, J. R. Michael, T. R. Christenson, and S. Leith, “Microstructural, mechanical properties of electrodeposited and annealed LIGA nickel structures,” Metall. Mater. Trans., 2002, 33A, 539.

N. Y. C. Yang, T. J. Headley, J. J. Kelly and J. M. Hruby, “Metallurgy of high strength NiMn microsystems fabricated by electrodeposition,” Scr. Mater., 2004, 51, 761.

R. Fathi and S. Sanjabi, “Electrodeposition of nanostructured Ni1-xMnx alloy films from chloride bath,” Current App. Phys., 2012, 12/1, 89.

B. Elridge, “Test parallelism trends,” Chip Scale Rev., 2009, 43.

B. Tunaboylu, E. L. Malantonio, D. T. Beatson, and A. Hmiel, Probe tip plating, US Patent 7638028, 2009.

J. A. Abys, E. J. Kudrak and C. Fan, “The Materials properties and contact reliability of palladium-cobalt,” Trans. IMF, 1999, 77(4), 164.

I. Boguslavsky and V. E. Eckert, “Electroplating of PdCo Alloy for Connector Application,” Proc. 29th HCIT Connector and lnterconnection Symposium, 1996, 219.

N. Alexeyeva, A. Sarapuu, K. Tammevski, F.J. Vidal-Iglesias, J. Solla-Gullón, J.M. Feliu, “Electroreduction of oxygen Vulcan carbon supported Pd particles and Pd-M nanoalloys in acid and alkaline solutions,” Electrochim. Acta, 2011, 56, 6702.

G. V. Strukov, G. K. Strukova, I. E. Batov,M. K. Sakharov, E. A. Kudrenko, A. A. Mazilkin, “Nanocrystalline Pd alloy films coated by electroless deposition,” J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 2011, 11(10), 8986.

K. Lee, O. Savadogo, A. Ishihara, S. Mitsushimas, N. Kamiya, K. I. Ota, “Methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction electrocatalysts based on Pd-3D transition metal alloys for direct methanol fuel cell,” J. Electrochem. Soc., 200, 153 (1), A20.

R. D. Noce, N. Borelli, P. T. A. Sumodjo, D. R. Cornejo and A. V. Benedetti, “Effect of bath pH on the electrodeposition of nanocrystalline PdCo alloys and their magnetic properties,” J. Magnetism and Mag. Mater., 2006, 306, 199.

O. A. Petrii, “Electrosynthesis of nanostructures and nanomaterials,” Russian Chem. Rev., 84/2 (2013) 159.

K. Oishi and O. Savagado, “Electrochemical investigation of Pd–Co thin films binary alloy for the oxygen reduction reaction in acid medium,” J. Electroanal. Chem., 2013, 703, 108.

Z. Y. Zhou, N. Tian, Z. Z. Huang, D. J. Chen, S. G. Sun, “Nanoparticle catalysts with high energy surfaces and enhanced activity synthesized by electrochemical method,” Faraday Discuss., 2009, 140, 81.

S. Tominaka and T. Osaka, “Nanoporous PdCo catalyst for microfuel cells: Electrodeposition and dealloying,” Adv. Phys. Chem., 2011, 2011, 1.

S. Tominaka and T. Hayashi, “Mesoporous PdCo sponge-like nanostructure synthesized by electrodeposition and dealloying for oxygen reduction reaction,” J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 7175.


  • There are currently no refbacks.