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Design And Implementation Of A Probe Station As Capstone Project

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Capstone Design II

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.397.1 - 11.397.12



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Paper Authors


Lihong (Heidi) Jiao Grand Valley State University

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Lihong (Heidi) Jiao,Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University. She received her B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from Nankai University, China and Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Her interests include semiconductor device fabrication, nanotechnologies and fiber optics.

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Jeffrey Ray Grand Valley State University

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Jeff Ray, Ph.D., is Director of the School of Engineering and an Associate Professor of Engineering at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Ray holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. His teaching interests are vibrations, CAD/CAM/CAE, and engineering design. Research interests include engineering education pedagogy and use of computer-aided engineering applications for design.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design and Implementation of a Probe Station as a Capstone Project


A probe station is an essential piece of equipment used in semiconductor wafer testing. It provides a platform for the wafer to interface with the electrical test equipment. During wafer testing, electrical probes are lowered onto the semiconductor wafer and make electrical connections to the wafer. This paper presents the design and implementation of a probe station project that was carried out as a capstone senior design project in School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University. The probe station was designed to have a durable, stable base and a 4 inch vacuum-assisted hot chuck as a sample stage. A microscope was integrated to view the wafers and to assist in making the electrical connections. In addition, microprobes with the ability to probe the wafers of 25 m structure were designed. The project team consisted of students with majors in mechanical and electrical engineering. The students learned skills in team building, project management, communication skills, and budgeting. The outcome of this project was a fully functional probe station currently used in the solid-state laboratory.

1. Introduction

All engineering students in School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) are required to take a multidisciplinary two-course capstone design sequence during their senior year. The two courses are structured to provide all students with a real-world understanding of the practice and principles of engineering and project management. The first course, EGR485 - Senior Engineering Project I, focuses on topics directly related to project management of industry projects including teambuilding, conflict resolution, leadership, resource availability, and design methodologies. In addition, students are assigned to teams and prepare a design proposal and presentation for the industry sponsor. During the second course, EGR 486 - Senior Engineering Project II, teams purchase all raw materials, build and implement their design, and write final documentation for the industry sponsors. Topics covered during the course include:

Understanding the interdependence of teams Handling difficult situations in executing design projects Further development of their written and oral communication skills Developing leadership skills necessary for successful projects Efficient time management practices Introduction of project management techniques, including critical path and Gantt chart creation

The electronic materials/devices course in School of Engineering at GVSU has been enhanced with a laboratory component. The challenge for adding laboratory activities to a course like this is the cost of the equipment needed. In order to test the functional properties of integrated circuits in the wafer form, a probe station is essential1. However, commercially available wafer testing probe stations are expensive2,3,4. The proposal “Probe Station Design and Manufacture” was submitted and accepted as a senior capstone project by School of Engineering. The criteria of building the probe station are:

Jiao, L. H., & Ray, J. (2006, June), Design And Implementation Of A Probe Station As Capstone Project Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--521

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