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RF Probe Video Guide

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The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate setup and alignment of microwave probes onto a calibration standard substrate. The Summit 9100 probe station and an Agilent VNA are used in this procedure.

RF Probe Video Guide: 1: Station Setup

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 1: Station Setup

This video details the correct set up procedure that should be followed in performing accurate two-port microwave measurements. Cascade’s Summit 9100 manual probe station is used for the demonstration. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 2: Installing Probes

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 2: Installing Probes

Before mounting the probes onto the positioners, the platen handle should be placed in the fully down position and remain in this position throughout the entire setup procedure. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 3: Placing the ISS

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 3: Placing the ISS

In on-wafer measurements, a Contact Substrate is used to evaluate the planarity of the probes. The Contact Substrate is an alumina substrate with a gold top layer. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 4: Focus & Planarization

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 4: Focus and Planarization

Focus the microscope onto the Contact Substrate. The probe tips will appear out of focus. Then use the z-micrometer on the positioner to lower the probe tips towards the Contact Substrate. The probe tips will begin to come into focus as they move closer toward the surface of the ISS. Evaluate tip contact by gently touching down on the soft gold of the Contact Substrate. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 5: Stage to the ISS

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 5: Moving the Stage to the ISS

Making sure that both probes are off the surface of the Contact Substrate, move the stage so that the probes now sit over the ISS. The ISS is approximately the same thickness as the Contact Substrate. However, it is still important to be careful that the ISS does not hit the side of the probe tips. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 6: Alignment Check

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 6: Alignment Check

To evaluate whether the probes are correctly aligned to the ISS, the probes should first be placed over the marker in the left-hand corner. Moving the stage in the x-axis only, the marker in the right-hand corner should reside in the same position relative to the probe tips. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 7: ISS Structures

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 7: ISS Structures

The reverse side of the map provides details describing the structures on the ISS. Normal ISS structures include shorting bars, precisely trimmed loads, Thru lines, and longer transmission lines. Lifting the probe in the air above the ISS by raising the platen handle, conveniently and reliably creates open standards. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 8: Setting Skate

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 8: Setting Skate

The initial contact with the probe tips should be made at reference plane X: the midpoint between the outer flat edge and the internal apex. The desired skate, which is again the forward movement of the probe tips after initial contact with the substrate, is then achieved by adjusting the z-height on the positioner to move the edge of the probe tips to reference plane Y: the midpoint between the internal apex and the flag points. [View Video]

RF Probe Video Guide: 9: Contacting the ISS

RF Probe Setup Guide: Video 9: Contacting the ISS

By raising the platen and moving the x-axis of the stage, each of the calibration standards can be contacted. Here the probes are contacting the Load, the Short, and the Thru respectively. As explained earlier, the Open is created by simply raising the platen handle. [View Video]