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1. WO2007148890 - METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ELECTRICAL TESTING APPARATUS

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ELECTRICAL TESTING APPARATUS

[Technical Field]

The present invention relates to an electrical testing apparatus, and more particularly to a method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus having resilient contact probes for electrical testing on a semiconductor device or a substrate.

[Background Art]

A process for testing electrical characteristics of the manufacture devices is introduced in manufacturing semiconductor devices. A test of electrical die sorting (EDS) on semiconductor devices is performed, and various types of apparatuses are developed for the test. A general semiconductor testing apparatus includes various parts such as a testing part with a tester head for performing an electrical test and a probe card with probes which are arranged on the probe card and electrically connected to the testing part. In this case, an electrical testing target, for example, a semiconductor device chip, a wafer, or a plate type substrate is loaded on a chuck serving a support part and the probe card is disposed on the chuck.
The semiconductor device chip includes exposed pad electrodes for electrical application of testing signals. The pad electrodes are contacted with the probes to apply the electrical testing signals to the pad electrodes. In this case, the probes are electrically connected to the testing part of the testing apparatus and serve to transmit and receive signals for electrical testing. Testing probes used in the semiconductor device testing apparatus are manufactured by various manufacturing technologies. For example, the probes may be manufactured as needle type probes using only manual operation and MEMS type probes using a Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) technology.

The needle type probes are manufactured in the manner that straight tungsten (W) beams are bent by manual operation and attached to a reinforcing plate using an adhesive agent, the reinforcing plate having signal lines formed to pass through the reinforcing plate. Then, the reinforcing plate is attached to a printed circuit board (PCB) to manufacture the probe card. Since the needle type probes are manufactured by manual operation, there are drawbacks such as long manufacturing time, a high failure ratio, a complicated process, and low productivity.
Compared with the needle type probes, the MEMS type probes are manufactured by a plating process using a plating frame. FIGS. 1 to 3 schematically show cross-sectional views for explaining a conventional method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus. Referring to FIG. 1, for the manufacture of the MEMS type probe, after a sacrificial layer 10 is introduced, a groove 11 for a probe tip is formed in the sacrificial layer 10, thereby forming a probe tip plating frame or mold. Then, a plating frame 20 for a probe beam body is formed on the sacrificial layer 10. An electrical plating process is performed to form a probe 30 having a probe tip 31 and a probe beam body 35.
Referring to FIG. 2, the plating frame 20 for the probe beam body 35 is selectively removed. Then, an end portion of the probe beam body 35 is attached to an electrode pad 41 of a probe reinforcing plate 40 having signal lines (not shown) using an adhesive layer 43 by manual operation. Then, as shown in FIG. 3, the sacrificial layer 10 (shown in FIG. 2) is removed to form a structure of the probe 30 and the reinforcing plate 40. The reinforcing plate 40 is attached to a body of the probe card, for example, the printed circuit board (PCB), thereby forming a probe card having one-armed probes. However, since the process for manufacturing probes is performed by manual operation, productivity is decreased and the probes may be inadequate to test a semiconductor device chip having pad array with a fine pitch. As the pad array is getting a fine pitch, a distance between the probe 30 and its neighboring probe becomes very smaller. The one-armed probe 30 may be inadequate for pad array with a fine pitch because the probe 30 occupies a considerable area.
Further, the one-armed probes 30 may be adequate for two-row pad arrangement.

However, since the one-armed probes 30 may be inadequate for matrix pad arrangement, there is a problem for electrical testing using the one-armed probes 30. Further, the probes 30 and the reinforcing plate 40 require an attachment process of manual operation. Thus, process efficiency may be relatively decreased, thereby reducing productivity and product competitiveness.

[Disclosure)
[Technical Problem]

An aspect of the present invention is to provide a method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus including probes capable of realizing a micro probe array corresponding to micro arrayed electrode pads and having further improved mechanical characteristics.

[Technical Solution]

An aspect of the present invention provides a technology for forming a probe having a resilient probe beam and a tip on a probe reinforcing substrate using a photolithography process and an electrical plating process.

[Advantageous Effects]

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus including probes capable of realizing a micro probe array corresponding to micro arrayed electrode pads and having further improved mechanical characteristics.

[Description of Drawings] FIGS. 1 to 3 schematically show cross-sectional views for explaining a conventional method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus;
FIG. 4 schematically shows a cross-sectional view of an electrical testing apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;
14FIGS. 5 to 15 are schematic diagrams for explaining the electrical testing apparatus and a method for manufacturing the electrical testing apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 16 to 27 schematically show perspective views and plan views for explaining an electrical testing apparatus and a method for manufacturing the electrical testing apparatus according to modified embodiments of the present invention;
FIGS. 28 to 30 are schematic diagrams for explaining a method for forming a support mold according to a modified embodiment of the present invention; and
FIGS. 31 and 32 schematically show perspective views for explaining arrangement of the probes according to the embodiment of the present invention.

[Best Mode]

In accordance with an aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing an electrical testing apparatus comprising: form support molds into a protruded pattern to have inclined side surfaces on a probe reinforcing substrate having signal lines which pass through the probe reinforcing substrate to transmit electrical signals to an electrical testing part for performing a test on an electrical testing target; forming a seed layer which is connected to the signal lines and covers the support molds; forming a probe beam mold on the seed layer, the probe beam mold having a first opening portion extended to peaks of the support molds along the inclined side surfaces of the support molds; forming conductive probe beams to be filled in the first opening portion; sequentially removing the probe beam mold, a portion of the seed layer below the probe beam mold and the support molds to form probe beams protruded from the probe reinforcing substrate; forming a protective layer to fixedly support the probe beams and expose the peaks of the probe beams; forming a probe tip mold on the protective layer to have a second opening portion which exposes the peaks of the probe beams; forming conductive probe tips at the peaks of the probe beams by filling the second opening portion; and sequentially and selectively removing the probe tip mold and the protective layer to expose probes including the probe beams and the probe tips.

[Mode for Invention]

The present invention provides a technology for forming a probe having a resilient probe beam and a tip on a probe reinforcing substrate using a photolithography process and an electrical plating process.
FIG. 4 schematically shows a cross-sectional view of an electrical testing apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 4, the electrical testing apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention is configured to perform an electrical test on an electrical testing target, for example, a semiconductor device chip, a wafer, a substrate, a flat plate display device or the like to check whether there is a defect in the testing target. Thus, the electrical testing apparatus may include a probe reinforcing substrate 200 having probes 100 which are in contact with pad electrodes provided on the testing target. The probe reinforcing substrate 200 includes signal lines 201 which pass through the probe reinforcing substrate 200 to transmit electrical signals. The probes 100 are electrically connected to the signal lines 201. In this case, for electrical connection between the probes 100 and the signal lines 201, pads 203 may be disposed on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 to be connected to end portions of the signal lines 201. A circuit substrate 300 is disposed on the rear of the probe reinforcing substrate 200, and the circuit substrate 300 includes connection lines 310 which connect the signal lines 201 to an electrical testing part 400.
The probes 100 of the electrical testing apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention are in contact with contact pad electrodes provided on a testing target (not shown) to transmit or receive testing signals. In this case, as shown in FIG. 4, the probes 100 are formed to have a spiral beam structure or a spirally-bent oblique beam structure in order to absorb or disperse a vertical mechanical force applied to the probes 100 when the probes 100 are in contact with the contact pad electrodes and stress caused by the mechanical force. Since the probes 100 have a relatively high resilient restoration force, it is possible to efficiently prevent an undesirable defect such as damage on the probes 100 due to the mechanical force or stress generated when the probes 100 are in contact with the contact pad electrodes.
FIGS. 5 to 15 are schematic diagrams for explaining the electrical testing apparatus and a method for manufacturing the electrical testing apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 5, in the method for manufacturing the electrical testing apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention, first, the probe reinforcing substrate 200 is introduced. The probe reinforcing substrate 200 may be introduced to support the probes 100 (shown in FIG. 4) arranged on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 and facilitate the arrangement of the probes 100 for the circuit substrate 300 (shown in FIG. 4) of the electrical testing apparatus.
The probe reinforcing substrate 200 may be configured as a multi-layer printed circuit board (PCB). The probe reinforcing substrate 200 includes the signal lines 201 to transmit electrical signals to the probes 100. For electrical connection between the signal lines 201 and the probes 100, the connection pads 203 may be disposed on end portions of the signal lines 201 of conduction lines which are formed to pass through the probe reinforcing substrate 200.
In the embodiment of the present invention, since the probes 100 are arranged on the connection pads 203, preferably, the connection pads 203 are disposed at arrangement positions corresponding to the contact pad electrodes provided on the testing target (not shown) on which an electrical test is performed.
Referring to FIG. 6, a first photoresist layer 510 serving as a sacrificial layer for a support mold is coated on the probe reinforcing substrate 200. The first photoresist layer 510 is introduced to provide a support mold for guiding a probe beam of the probe to be vertically protruded from the probe reinforcing substrate 200. In this case, the support mold may be made of an insulating material capable of being selectively and relatively easily removed after forming the probe beam as well as a resist material such as the first photoresist layer 510. Preferably, the support mold is made of a resist material to introduce a photolithography process. The first photoresist layer 510 may be formed to have a thickness substantially equal to the height of the probe, for example, about 300 - 500 μm.
Referring to FIG. 7, the first photoresist layer 510 is patterned using the photolithography process to form a first photoresist pattern 511. For example, the first photoresist layer 510 is exposed to light and developed to form the first photoresist pattern 511 in a cylindrical shape. In this case, the cylindrical shape may be a circular cylindrical shape, a square cylindrical shape or a mesa shape. The first photoresist pattern 511 may be arranged on the connection pads 203 of the probe reinforcing substrate 200.
Referring to FIG. 8, a thermal flow process is performed on the first photoresist pattern 511 to form support molds 513 for vertically guiding probe beams. Each support mold 513 has an inclined side surface 515 and a peak 517 at which the side surface 515 is converged. When heat is applied to the first photoresist pattern 511 to flow the resist material, geometrically, the resist material at the edge flows relatively fast.
Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 8, the support mold 513 is formed in a substantially circular cone or truncated cone having the inclined side surface 515, wherein a portion of the peak 517 has a smaller width than a bottom portion. In this case, the support mold 513 may have any solid figure having the inclined side surface 515, for example, a pyramid.
Preferably, the upper surface of each connection pad 203 is partially exposed by the support mold 513 such that a probe beam to be formed in the following step is electrically connected to the connection pad 203. Meanwhile, a number of the support molds 513 may be formed in two rows to be spaced from each other such that a number of probes are arranged in two rows on the probe reinforcing substrate 200. Further, the support molds 513 may be formed in a matrix to be spaced from each other such that a number of probes are arranged in a matrix on the probe reinforcing substrate 200.

Referring to FIG. 9, a seed layer 101 is formed on a resultant structure having the support molds 513 to cover the support molds 513 such that the seed layer 101 is in contact with the connection pads 203 to be electrically connected to the signal lines 201. The seed layer 101 may be introduced to apply current in the following electrical plating process. The seed layer 101 may be formed by a deposition process of depositing a metal conductive material such as Nickel (Ni) alloy using thermal evaporation. The seed layer 101 may be formed to have a thickness of a few tens of run to a few μm.
After forming the seed layer 101, a mold for forming the probe beams is formed on the seed layer 101. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 9, a layer for a mold, for example, a second photoresist layer 530 may be formed on a resultant structure having the support molds 513 to have a thickness according to morphology. In this case, the second photoresist layer 530 serves a sacrificial layer which is selectively removed after it is used as a mold. Accordingly, the second photoresist layer 530 may be made of another insulating material instead of a resist material. Further, preferably, the second photoresist layer 530 is formed to have a thickness equal to a thickness of the probe beams according to a profile of the support molds 513. Accordingly, when the probe beams are formed to have a thickness of a few to a few tens of μm, the second photoresist layer 530 may be formed to have a corresponding thickness. Referring to FIG. 10, a photolithography process is performed on the second photoresist layer 530 (shown in FIG. 9) to form a second photoresist pattern 531. The second photoresist pattern 531 is used as a probe beam mold. The second photoresist pattern 531 is formed on the seed layer 101 to have a first opening portion 535 extending to the peak 517 of the support mold 513 along the inclined side surface 515 of the support mold 513 by a photolithography process including an exposure process and a developing process. The second photoresist pattern 531 of a probe beam mold may be formed to have the first opening portion 535 spirally extended while winding on the inclined side surface 515 of the support mold 513 such that the probe beam is vertically and spirally protruded from the probe reinforcing substrate 200. In this case, the first opening portion 535 of a spiral shape may be formed to expose the peaks 517 of the support molds 513. A portion of the seed layer 101 is exposed in a spiral shape by the first opening portion 535.
Referring to FIG. 11, conductive probe beams 103 are formed to be filled in the first opening portion 535. For example, a first plating layer such as a Nickel (Ni) alloy layer is formed by electrical plating to be selectively filled in the first opening portion 535. Since the first plating layer selectively grows on the exposed seed layer 101, the first plating layer does not substantially grow on the second photoresist pattern 531 of the probe beam mold having the first opening portion 535. Thus, the probe beams 103 are formed to be substantially vertically and spirally protruded along the first opening portion 535 of the second photoresist pattern 531.
Referring to FIG. 12, the second photoresist pattern 531 of the probe beam mold, a portion of the seed layer 101 below the second photoresist pattern 531 and the support molds 513 are sequentially removed, thereby forming the probe beams 103 protruded from the probe reinforcing substrate 200.
For example, the second photoresist pattern 531 is selectively removed by dry ashing using oxygen plasma (O2 plasma) and the like or/and by wet strip using a developing solution and the like. In the wet strip, an over etch is performed by extending the etching time such that the exposed portion of the seed layer 101 which has a relatively small thickness is etched and removed. Besides, an additional etching process may be introduced to selectively etch and remove the exposed portion of the seed layer 101. Then, the first photoresist pattern of the exposed support molds 513 is selectively removed by dry ashing or/and by wet strip using a developing solution and the like. In this case, a portion of the seed layer 101 on the rear surface of the probe beams 103 may be partially or entirely removed by an etching process such as wet strip.
The probe beams 103 are exposed by the selective removing process. Referring to FIG. 13, an insulating coating film 105 is formed to cover and insulate the exposed probe beams 103. An insulating polymer material is coated or deposited on the exposed probe beams 103 to form the insulating coating film 105. Since the probe beams 103 are insulated and coated by introducing the insulating coating film 105, it is possible to prevent a short circuit caused by contact between neighboring probe beams 103. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent distortion of testing signals and remove factors of generating noises in testing. Further, it is possible to improve the electrical insulating characteristics and mechanical characteristics by introducing the insulating coating film 105.
A protective layer 550 is formed to fixedly support the probe beams 103 and expose the peaks of the probe beams 103. For example, a third photoresist layer is formed to be filled in a space between the exposed probe beams 103. The third photoresist layer is planarized by performing a chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process or an etch-back process to expose the peaks of the probe beams 103. In this case, the CMP process may be more efficient for planarization. The protective layer 550 may be introduced as a sacrificial layer for fixedly supporting the probe beams 103 in the CMP process.
A lower conductive layer 150 for electrical plating may be formed on the rear surface of the probe reinforcing substrate 200 by depositing a metal conductive material such as Nickel (Ni) alloy. In this case, the lower conductive layer 150 is electrically connected to the signal lines 201. Accordingly, the lower conductive layer 150 is also electrically connected to the connection pads 203 and the probe beams 103. Thus, the lower conductive layer 150 may serve to apply current in the following electrical plating process for forming probe tips at the peaks of the probe beams 103.
Then, a probe tip mold 570 is formed on the protective layer 550 to have a second opening portion 571 which exposes the peaks of the probe beams 103. For example, a fourth photoresist layer is formed on the protective layer 550. The fourth photoresist layer is patterned by a photolithography process including an exposure process and a developing process, thereby forming a fourth photoresist pattern having the second opening portion 571. The fourth photoresist pattern may be used as the probe tip mold 570. In this case, the second opening portion 571 may be formed in a shape corresponding to the probe tips.
Referring to FIG. 14, conductive probe tips 107 are formed at the peaks of the probe beams 103 by filling the second opening portion 571. For example, a second plating layer is formed at the peaks of the probe beams 103 exposed by the second opening portion 571 by electrically plating a conductive metal material such as Nickel (Ni) alloy, thereby forming the probe tips 107 to be filled in the second opening portion 571. In this case, the electrical plating is carried out using current applied by the lower conductive layer 150. Accordingly, the second plating layer selectively grows only on the peaks of the probe beams 103 exposed by the second opening portion 571. Thus, the probe tips 107 are formed in the same shape as the second opening portion 571. Thereafter, a planarization process or an etch-back process may be further performed to finish the edges of the probe tips 107 or remove an undesirable bridge part, namely, for separation of nodes.
Referring to FIG. 15, after the probe tips 107 are formed, the lower conductive layer 150 (shown in FIG. 14), which is used in the electrical plating, is removed. Then, the probe tip mold 570 and the protective layer 550 (shown in FIG. 14) are sequentially and selectively removed. For example, the third and the fourth photoresist layers are selectively removed by dry ashing or/and by wet strip, thereby forming probes 100 including the probe beams 103 and the probe tips 107, respectively. The above-described probe structure according to the embodiment of the present invention has the probe beams 103 of a vertical structure instead of the one-armed structure.
As described above, the probe beams 103 are formed and arranged on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 by a photolithography process. Thus, it is possible to omit manual operation for manufacturing the probe beams and attaching the probe beams on the reinforcing substrate, thereby increasing production yield and shortening the manufacturing period. Further, it is possible to stably mass-produce standard probes by introducing the photolithography process, thereby stabilizing the process and improving productivity.
The probe reinforcing substrate 200 is attached to the circuit substrate 300 as shown in FIG. 4 to perform a test using the electrical testing apparatus.
Meanwhile, the probe according to the embodiment of the present invention may be formed spirally or obliquely as a vertical structure. The structure of the probe beams 103 may vary by modifying the first opening portion 535 of the probe beam mold 531.

FIGS. 16 to 27 schematically show perspective views and plan views for explaining an electrical testing apparatus and a method for manufacturing the electrical testing apparatus according to modified embodiments of the present invention.
FIGS. 16 and 17 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a first modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 16 and 17, a probe beam 103 may be formed in a vertical structure while being attached to a connection pad 203 on a probe reinforcing substrate 200. The probe beam 103 may be formed to be spirally protruded by a probe beam mold 531 including a first opening portion 535 having a substantially one turn as shown in FIG. 17. The probe beam mold 531 may be introduced to have the first opening portion 535 extended while winding on the inclined side surface of a support mold 513 by the support mold 513 formed in a cone shape such as a substantially circular cone or truncated cone.
Since the probe beam 103 has a spiral body, the probe beam 103 may have very effective mechanical characteristics for a mechanical force or stress generated when a probe tip 107 is in contact with a testing target, for example, a pad electrode of a semiconductor device chip. For example, the probe beam 103 may disperse a vertically applied force in the horizontal directions according to angles of inclination of the spiral body. Further, the probe beam 103 may more efficiently absorb the vertically applied force by a resilient force of the spiral body.
Accordingly, it is possible to more efficiently reduce generation of a scrubbed mark on the contact pad electrode. Further, it is possible to prevent the probe 100 from being damaged due to mechanical stress. Since the mechanical characteristics of the probe 100 are improved, it is possible to prevent malfunction of the probe 100 caused by damage and the like, thereby further improving the electrical characteristics.
Meanwhile, the probe beam 101 shown in FIG. 16 may be formed in various shapes by modifying the first opening portion 535 shown in FIG. 17. That is, according to the user demand, the length, the number of turns, height, shape or the like of the probe beam 103 can be relatively easily changed by varying the shape of the first opening portion 535.

FIGS. 18 and 19 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a second modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 18 and 19, a probe beam 103 may be formed to be spirally protruded by a probe beam mold 531 including a first opening portion 535 having substantially two turns.
FIGS. 20 and 21 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a third modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 20 and 21, the number of turns of a first opening portion 535 of a probe beam mold 531 is set to be substantially smaller than one, thereby forming an oblique probe beam 1103 of an almost spiral shape and an oblique vertical probe 1100 including a probe tip 1107.
The oblique probe beam 1103 may be formed to be spirally protruded to reach a converged peak on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 while winding on the inclined side surface of the support mold 513 having a virtual circular cone or truncated cone shape. The probe tip 1107 is positioned at the peak of the oblique probe beam 1103. As shown in FIG. 21, the oblique probe beam 1103 may be formed to be spirally protruded by a probe beam mold 531 including a first opening portion 535 having substantially two third turn.
FIGS. 22 and 23 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a fourth modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 22 and 23, the number of turns of a first opening portion 535 of a probe beam mold 531 is set to be further smaller, substantially one fifth turn, thereby forming an oblique probe beam 1103 of an almost spiral shape and an oblique vertical probe 1100 including a tip 1107.
The oblique probe beam 1103 has a smaller length than the spiral probe beam 103 shown in FIG. 16, thereby reducing an impedance. Consequently, the oblique probe beam 1103 is efficient for high-speed testing. Further, when a number of oblique probe beams 1103 are arranged on the probe reinforcing substrate 200, their occupying area can be reduced. Accordingly, it is efficient to apply the oblique probe beam 1103 to high- integration semiconductor devices having fine pad electrode arrangement.

FIGS. 24 and 25 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a fifth modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 24 and 25, at least two oblique probe beams 2103 may be bent and protruded to meet each other at a converged peak on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 while winding on the inclined side surface of the support mold 513 having a virtual circular cone or truncated cone shape. A probe tip 2107 is positioned at the converged peak of the oblique probe beams 2103. The oblique probe beams 2103 and the probe tip 2107 form a probe 2100.
In each of the oblique probe beams 2103, the number of turns of a first opening portion 535 is set to be substantially smaller than one, for example, one third turn, thereby forming the oblique probe beams 2103 of an almost spiral shape. In this case, the first opening portion 535 may be set such that the probe beams 2103 are bent in the opposite directions. It is efficient to improve durability of the probe beams 2103. In this structure, a number of probe beams 2103 are formed to support one probe tip 2107. Accordingly, the structure may be relatively excellent in the mechanical strength, resilient characteristics, and the durability. Further, even though there is an abnormality such as a short circuit in one of the probe beams 2103, the other probe beam 2103 serves to transmit signals, thereby enabling normal testing. Thus, it is possible to increase reliability in a testing process.
FIGS. 26 and 27 show a perspective view and a plan view of a probe structure and a probe beam mold according to a sixth modified embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 26 and 27, an oblique probe beam 3103 may be bent and protruded along the inclined side surface of the support mold 513 having a virtual circular cone or truncated cone shape to reach a converged peak on the probe reinforcing substrate 200. A probe tip 3107 is positioned at the converged peak of the oblique probe beam 3103. The oblique probe beam 3103 and the probe tip 3107 form a probe 3100. This structure may be substantially obtained by removing one of the probe beams 2103 (shown in FIG. 24) in the probe structure of FIGS. 24 and 25.
Meanwhile, although the support mold 513 for the probe beams is formed by introducing the thermal flow process after performing the photolithography process in the above embodiment of the present invention, the photolithography process may be modified to introduce an inclined exposure process, thereby allowing the support mold 513 to have the inclined side surface 515.
FIGS. 28 to 30 are schematic illustrations for explaining a method for forming a support mold according to a modified embodiment of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 28, a first photoresist layer 1510 for forming a support mold is coated on the probe reinforcing substrate 200. Then, a first exposure is performed using exposure light 651 which is projected perpendicularly to the first photoresist layer 1510. In this case, a selective exposure process may be performed by a photomask 610 having a light transmitting part 611. Further, the photomask 610 may be positioned to be parallel to the substrate 200. Accordingly, a first portion 1511 of the first photoresist layer 1510 may be exposed to light in a vertical cylindrical shape. The selectively exposed portion may vary according to characteristics of a resist material of the photoresist layer 1510.
Referring to FIG. 29, a second exposure is performed using inclined exposure light 655 which is projected obliquely onto the first photoresist layer 1510, preferably, while rotating the probe reinforcing substrate 200. Accordingly, a second portion 1512 of the first photoresist layer 1510 may be exposed to light in an inclined shape. The first and second portions 1511 and 1512 are set to form a support mold 1513.
In this case, the inclined exposure process may be performed by controlling the substrate 200 to be inclined with respect to the photomask 610 having the light transmitting part 611. That is, the inclined exposure process may be performed by controlling a substrate stage of an exposure apparatus such that the substrate 200 is inclined with respect to a light source. Further, the inclined exposure process may be performed only by moving a position of the light source while the photomask 610 is maintained at the same position with respect to the substrate 200 as shown in FIG. 28, which is different from the state shown in FIG. 29. An incident angle of the inclined exposure light 655 is controlled depending on an inclination angle of the side surface of the support mold to be formed.

The exposed first photoresist layer 1510 is developed to form the support mold 1513 having the inclined side surface in a substantially circular cone or truncated cone shape as shown in FIG. 30. The processes described with reference to FIGS. 9 to 15 are performed on the support mold 1513, thereby forming the probe beams 100, 1100 and 2100 as shown in FIGS. 16, 20 and 24.
Meanwhile, the above-described probes 100 according to the embodiments of the present invention may be arranged as shown in FIGS. 31 and 32.
FIGS. 31 and 32 schematically show perspective views for explaining arrangement of the probes according to the embodiment of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 31, the probes 100 according to the embodiment of the present invention may be arranged in two rows on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 to correspond to pad electrodes arranged in two rows on a general semiconductor memory device. In this case, portions where the probes 100 are in contact with the connection pads 201 may be set such that the probes 100 are spaced from each other at the maximum. Accordingly, it is possible to efficiently reduce interference between the probes 100 in a limited space. That is, signals can be transmitted through the probes 100 while neighboring signals transmitted to neighboring pads are separated from each other, thereby preventing distortion of signals due to neighboring signals. Further, as shown in FIG. 31, since the probes 100 have a spiral structure, the probes 100 are formed to have a sufficient resilient force required in a restricted area.
Referring to FIG. 32, the probes 100 according to the embodiment of the present invention may be more densely arranged in a matrix on the probe reinforcing substrate 200 to correspond to pad electrodes arranged in a matrix on a high-integration semiconductor memory device.
The above-described arrangement of the probes 100 may be also applied to the probes having the oblique probe beams, for example, the probes 1100 having the oblique probe beams 1103 shown in FIG. 20.
According to the present invention, the probes used in the electrical testing apparatus may be formed to have the spiral or oblique probe beams. The vertical probe beams such as spiral or oblique probe beams may be formed using a photolithography technology with high stability and high productivity. Since the positions of the probes are set and transcribed on the substrate by a photolithography technology, the probes can be positioned at the exact coordinates. Accordingly, it is possible to omit a position correction operation performed by varying the positions of the probes. Further, since a position correction using manual operation is omitted, it is possible to prevent transformation of the probe beams caused by the correction operation or/and mechanical stress directly applied to the probe beams.
Further, mass production can be achieved by a photolithography technology, thereby increasing productivity and reducing the manufacturing period. Furthermore, a simple and easy process can be achieved, thereby reducing failures caused by a complicated process. Moreover, it is possible to manufacture reliable products by a simplified and stabilized process. Since a micro probe array can be realized, it is possible to test the micro arrayed pads and variously arrayed pads such as a two-row array or a matrix array. Thus, it is possible to stably arrange a number of probes in a limited space, thereby enabling micro-array testing.
Meanwhile, since the probe beams are formed as they grow on the probe reinforcing substrate, it is possible to omit a process for attaching the probe beams on the probe reinforcing substrate. Thus, it is possible to simplify the manufacturing process and shorten the manufacturing period, thereby performing a process with high stability and high productivity.
According to the present invention, the probes can be sufficiently spaced from other neighboring probes and the probe beams can be insulated and coated. Thus, it is possible to prevent distortion of signals and noises caused by a short circuit or interference between neighboring probes, thereby improving the electrical characteristics of the probes. Further, since the probes according to the present invention have a spiral or oblique structure, it is possible to relieve or absorb a mechanical force by resilience when the probes are in contact with the pads. Accordingly, it is possible to more efficiently reduce excessive generation of a scrubbed mark on the contact pad of the testing target. Further, it is possible to more efficiently disperse or relieve a mechanical force applied to the probe beams when the probes are in contact with the pads. Thus, it is possible to prevent a testing error due to damage on the probe beams and the like.

[Industrial Applicability]

The probe beams of the probes used in the electrical testing apparatus for electrical testing of the semiconductor devices can be formed to have a spiral shape or an oblique shape. The vertical probe beams having a spiral shape or an oblique shape can be formed with high stability and high productivity using a photolithography technology. Thus, it is possible to provide a competitive semiconductor testing apparatus having excellent quality and durability and increased reliability.