The Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University has recently purchased an electrical wafer probe station from microelectronics assembly equipment specialist Inseto (www.inseto.co.uk), to assist them with their electrical probing of micro and nano devices for bio sensors.
Dr Owen Guy, Senior Lecturer explains why the University chose the Inseto prober. “We were on the search for a low cost probe station to assist in our research and development work here at the Centre for NanoHealth (CNH), where we are collaborating with local companies. We are involved in the probing of micro and nano devices in bio sensors that are typically used in disease markers such as glucose markers. The funds for the prober have been made available to the CNH’s new Nano & Micro Technologies for Healthcare project, through the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government. The tendering process involves the submission of three quotes but it isn’t typically just cost that drives the purchase. We knew of Inseto as we had been in touch with them previously regarding some other equipment we had looked to purchase. We also know their Technical Support Team, led by Jim Rhodes, as they had provided us with some process and equipment training and therefore trusted them and knew they fully understood the Universities requirements and demands. Location was also a factor, we weren’t necessarily insisting that we had a UK supplier but we felt it was a distinct advantage and it has proved to be invaluable, as Inseto are available for service and support as and when we require, which has been a real bonus.
The delivery of the prober has also been very seamless as the whole process only took a few weeks to go through”. Dr Guy concludes, “We have been very impressed all round with the product, service and support we have received from Inseto and are already talking to them about future equipment purchases”.
The SemiProbe range of manual probe systems are ideally suited to Universities, Research & Development facilities, Laboratories and for facilities where low volume testing is required. The range includes the cost-effective LAB Assistant and modular Probe System For Life (PS4L). The low-cost LAB Assistant is available in either DC or HF configurations for 100, 150 or 200mm wafers- devices and includes all the options required to start testing, out-of-the-box, whereas the PS4L is available in 100 to 450mm versions, with an extensive range of options
For Chip-On-Board (COB) applications, some form of protection is necessary for the bare silicon Integrated Circuit (IC) and its wire bonds. Typically, COB consists predominantly of surface-mount components, which by their very nature do not require any extra protection against environmental stresses. However, the bare silicon, and the wire bonds that connect the IC to the tracks on the PCB, are fragile by nature, and some form of protection is required.
This is provided in the form of a hard black epoxy. For small ICs, a single process is sufficient to ensure this protection. The epoxy is dispensed onto the surface of the IC and flows in a controlled manner to form a dome over the IC and the wire bonds. Heat is then applied to cure the adhesive, forming a hard protective surface over the IC. However, larger ICs require a two-stage process: A high-viscosity epoxy is dispensed to form a wall, or Dam, around the area to be protected, and a chemically-compatible, lower-viscosity epoxy is then dispensed into the cavity to complete the protective covering. This process is known as Dam & Fill, and ideally the Dam and the Fill are cured simultaneously.
In addition to mechanical protection, these epoxies provide excellent resistance to aggressive chemicals such as motor oil & diesel, aqueous, UV & solvent-based printing inks, and also vibration and temperature extremes. Typical applications include automotive electronic sensors, bio-medical device protection, aerospace and military mixed technology programs. The adhesives are one-part, solvent-free epoxies, optimised for easy dispensing and fast, low-temperature curing. They provide maximum moisture protection, successfully meeting the requirements of JEDEC MSL 1, and have an operating temperature range of -60C to +180C.
Full details can be found our web site: http://www.inseto.co.uk/products/encapsulationadhesives.htm
Inseto is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement to distribute ACC Silicone materials in the UK.
ACC is a UK-based manufacturer of silicone adhesives, encapsulants and gels, and has over 30 years experience in providing World Class Silicones for Worldwide Solutions. Specialised application areas include aerospace, automotive, electronics, and photovoltaics.
Inseto is an ISO accredited technical distributor, providing manufacturing equipment, assembly materials and related consumable products for advanced electronic research & production, in addition to adhesives for technology-led industries.
More information can be found on our website: http://www.inseto.co.uk/products/adhesives/htm