Friday, March 14, 2008

US Patent 7342403 - CNT IC test probe

Due to their high aspect ratios nanowires and nanotubes are popular choices for the tips of scanning probes microscopes used to inspect matter on a molecular or atomic level. This patent from Hon Hai is a variation of this idea and teaches nanotubes directly grown from a cantilever probe (not using a scanning probe tip) for testing the functionality of ICs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A test apparatus for integrated circuits comprising a data collector, the data collector comprising: a cantilever having a free end; a substrate formed at the free end; at least one electrically conductive film formed on a surface of the substrate facing away from the free end; at least one catalyst film formed on the corresponding electrically conductive film; and at least one probe grown from the corresponding catalyst film and each of the at least one probe comprising at least one carbon nanotube.