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Terms used in the Semiconductor industry.  These include terms relating to micropositioners, inkers, testing terms, interfacing terms, etc. 

Inker Terms

Adhesion
    The state in which an ink dot is held to a substrate by interfacial forces.
    The degree of adhesion varies depending on the composition of the ink,
    composition of the substrate, amount of surface contamination,     and ink
    cure temperature. The degree of adhesion can be determined by measuring
    the amount of force per unit area required to remove the ink from the
    substrate.
 
Air Dry
    An ink that does not require heat curing. Air drying ink formulations
    supplied by Xandex are the 7824, 8103, and 8104 types. Drying times vary
    depending on dot size, ink type, and ambient temperature.
 
Appearance
    General term relating to the quality and consistency of the ink dots.
    Examples: Round shape vs. irregular shape, transparency vs. opacity,
    consistent dot to dot size vs. inconsistent dot to dot size.
 
Contamination
    Any material present on the substrate that affects the ink adhesion and/or
    spreading behavior. Contamination may be organic or inorganic. Indicators
    of possible contamination problems are inconsistent dot size/shape and
    poor adhesion.
 
Curing
    The mechanism by which liquid ink is transformed into a solid. The two
    curing mechanisms associated with Xandex inks are polymerization and
    solvent evaporation.
 
Donut
    Reference to a dot that is greater in thickness at the edges than at the
    center. Usually associated with an improper inker Z-height adjustment.
 
Dot Profile
    A description of the dot dimensions. Included in the dot profile are dot
    diameter, dot height, and any height irregularities (e.g. donut shaped).
 
Dry Time
    For air drying inks, the amount of time required for an ink dot of a given    
    size to dry. Small dots have a faster dry time than larger dots.
 
Dye
    Organic colorants used in the majority Xandex ink formulations. Most dyes
    are soluble synthetic organic materials, as opposed to pigments which are
    generally insoluble inorganic materials. Inks made from dyes are less   
    opaque than those made from pigments.
 
Epoxy
    Resin type used in the 7224 ink formulations. Inks made with epoxy resin
    cure by polymerization, and the result is a very hard ink film with good
    solvent resistance and adhesion.
 
Flash Point
    Temperature above which vapors of a substance become sufficiently
    concentrated to cause an explosion when exposed to a spark or open
    flame.
 
Grind
    A measure of the level of undispersed particles in the ink as measured
    using a grind gauge.
 
Ink
    A liquid blend of materials used to impart color to a substrate. The basic
    components of an ink are colorant (dye or pigment), solvent, and resin.
 
Ink Performance Characteristics
    The characteristics inherent in a particular ink formulation. Adhesive
    strength, degree of solvent resistance, cure rate, and shelf life are all
    examples of ink performance characteristics.
 
Ink Balling
    Phenomenon in which ink works itís way up the exterior of the cartridge
    needle and forms a mass. If the mass becomes large enough it can drop
    onto the substrate being inked. Ink balling can result from repeatedly
    actuating the inker when the Z setting is too high to allow ink droplets to
    deposit onto the substrate normally. When ink balling occurs, simply
    wiping all the excess ink from the outside of the needle is usually an
    effective solution to the problem.
 
Ionic
    Relating to charged atomic species. Low ionic levels of Chloride (Cl) and
    Sodium (Na) are an important characteristic of inks used in Xandex ink
    cartridges.
 
Mobil Ions
    Ions which are not bound to any other atomic species and are free to move
    under the influence of an electric charge. At high enough concentrations,
    mobil ions will cause shorts in semiconductor devices. To avoid the
    potential of ionic contamination, many Xandex inks are certified to have
    low ionic levels of Chloride (Cl) and Sodium (Na).
 
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
    Detailed reference sheet that outlines the hazards, physical properties,
    required precautions, first aid measures, and regulatory information
    associated a chemical or chemical mixture. An MSDS is required for all
    chemicals and chemical mixtures sold commercially.
 
Opacity
    The optical density of a material; the opposite of translucency. An ink
    droplet of high opacity does not transmit much light and is able to hide the
    patterning of the wafer beneath it.
 
Opaque
    A substance is said to be opaque if it possesses a high optical density that
    prevents the transmittance of light.
 
Open Time
    After priming, the amount of time an ink cartridge can remain viable before
    clogging begins to occur at the needle tip.
 
Permanency
    The relative degree of difficulty involved in ink dot removal. For example,
    hard cured ink dots have more permanency than soft cured ink dots.
 
Phenolic
    Relating to a class of aromatic organic compounds in which one or more
    hydroxy groups are attached directly to the benzene ring. The majority of
    the inks supplied by Xandex are phenolic in character.
 
Pigment
    A substance that imparts color to another substance or mixture. Most
    pigments are insoluble inorganic powders, the coloring effect being a result
    of their dispersion in a solid or liquid medium.
 
Polymerization
    A chemical reaction, usually carried out with a catalyst, heat, or light, in
    which a large number of relatively simple molecules (monomers) combine
    to form a chain-like macromolecule (a polymer). Epoxy type inks cure via
    polymerization.
 
Resin
    A semisolid or solid complex amorphous mix of organic compounds. Resins
    are one of the main component in all inks. They are sometimes referred to
    as the "body" of the ink since the composition of the cured ink film is
    primarily resin. Choice of resin has a large effect on characteristics of the
    ink such as ink film hardness, permanency, and tolerance to high
    temperatures.
 
Rheology
    Science of the deformation and flow of materials in terms of stress, strain,
    and time. Has important bearing on the behavior of viscous liquids.
 
Shear
    The ratio between a stress (force/unit area) applied laterally to a material
    and the strain resulting from this force. Determination of this ratio is one
    method of determining the viscosity of an ink.
 
Shelf Life
    The maximum amount of time a material will last before there is a
    noticeable degradation in physical characteristics and performance in an
    application.
 
Solvent
    The liquid component of an ink. Solvents used in Xandex inks are primarily
    various types of glycols and alcohols.
 
Specific Gravity
    The ratio of the density of a substance to the density of some reference
    substance, usually water.
 
Splatter
    Phenomenon that sometimes occurs in DM-1 cartridges in which a small (1
    to 5 mil) ink dot splatters onto the substrate at the same time as the
    primary ink dot. The cause is not fully established, but may be related to
    improper z-height adjustment and/or certain defects in the "fishline"
    portion of the cartridge needle tip.
 
Strength
    A measure of the level of colorant present in the ink. Strength is usually
    measured against a standard of known colorant level.
 
Surface Energy
    The attractive force exerted by a surface. The higher the surface energy,
    the greater the tendency of a liquid to spread across the surface. Inks will
    generally have better adhesion on high surface energy substrates.
 
Surface Tension
    In any liquid, the attractive force exerted by molecules below the surface
    upon those at the surface/air interface, resulting from the high molecular
    concentration of a liquid compared to the low molecular concentration of a
    gas. Inks with a high surface tension have less tendency to spread across
    the surface of a substrate.
 
Thermosetting
    Mechanism by which some epoxy inks cure via polymerization under the
    influence of heat. Mode of curing for Xandex epoxy inks.
 
Thickener
    Ink component added to increase the ink viscosity. Usually a combination
    of fumed silica, resin, and solvent.
 
Thixotropy
    The ability of certain inks to liquefy when agitated (as by shaking or
    ultrasonic vibration) and to return to a more gelled form when at rest. An
    important ink performance characteristic in some applications.
 
Translucency
    The ease with which light can be transmitted through a substance. The
    greater the translucency of a substance, the more light can be transmitted.
 
Viscometer
    A device for measuring the viscosity of a liquid. The Brookfield viscometers
    used for ink qualification at Xandex measure the amount of resistive force 
    encountered by a rotating spindle when immersed in the ink.
 
Viscosity
    The internal resistance to flow exhibited by a fluid, the ratio of shearing
    stress to rate of shear. Achieving the proper viscosity specification is
    important in ensuring good ink performance.

Inker Hardware Terms
Actuate
    To put into action or motion. In an inker application, the firing of either the
    solenoid or pneumatic shuttle on a signal from the prober.
 
Actuator
    See solenoid.
 
Cartridge Body
    The main plastic portion of the cartridge.
 
Coil
    See solenoid.
 
Connector
    A mechanical device, which provides a link between individual apparatus
    for the purpose of transferring electrical signals, gases, and fluids between
    the apparatus.
 
Filament
    A fine threadlike component that passes through the center of the
    cartridge and acts as a carrier for the ink to the wafer surface.
 
Fishline
    See filament.
 
Holder
    That portion of the inker mechanism that retains the ink cartridge.
 
Holder Base Assembly
    The assembled holder, solenoid, plunger, and cartridge clip.
 
Inker Kit
    A complete inker setup including everything necessary to install and
    operate the inker. Including, but not limited to the inker, controller,
    regulator, cartridge wrench, cartridge opening tool, product manual, etc.
 
Inker Base
    The main inker mechanism which the holder or shuttle mounts to and which
    provides positional adjustment.
 
Main Guide
    The cartridge component which retains the filament and attaches to the
    solenoid plunger allowing transfer of ink to the wafer surface when the
    solenoid is actuated.
 
Manipulator
    A mechanism that facilitates the control of position.
 
Mounting Plate
    A metal plate (usually aluminum or steel) for mounting the inker to the
    prober.
 
Needle
    The stainless steel component of the cartridge, which retains and supports
    the Teflon tube.
 
Plunger
    The portion of the solenoid that actuates the filament component of the    
    cartridge resulting in the dispensing of ink dots.
 
Retrofit
    To substitute existing equipment or components with up to date
    replacements.
 
Solenoid
    The part of the inker that actuates the plunger, utilizing the flow of an
    electric current, corresponding with a signal from the prober.
 
Tungsten
    A fine metal wire, which passes through the center of the cartridge and
    acts as a carrier for the ink. It is used in place of the filament when there
    is a requirement for making smaller dots than the filament is capable.
Runout
The linear (versus angular) portion of off-axis error. It is the deviation between ideal straight line motion and actual measured motion in a translation stage. Runout has two orthogonal components, straightness, a measure of in-plane deviation, and flatness, the out-of-plane deviation.

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Last modified: 05/06/09