APPARATUS FOR ALIGNING A obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice
SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER WITH AN of the invention. The object and advantages of the invention
INSPECTION CONTACTOR may be realized and obtained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 5 appended claims.
The present invention relates to an apparatus for aligning a semiconductor wafer with an inspection contactor, and more particularly, to an apparatus for achieving alignment
between a semiconductor wafer and an inspection contactor, The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in
whereby a plurality of contacts formed on the contactor and 10 and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate presently
their corresponding electrode pads of each of a plurality of preferred embodiments of the invention, and together with
chips formed on the wafer are aligned when they are the general description given above and the detailed descrip
connected electrically to one another by being brought tion of the preferred embodiments given below, serve to
collectively into touch with one another. explain the principles of the invention.
Manufacturing processes for semiconductor wafers 15 FIG X a perSpectiVe view schematically showing an include an inspection process in which a large number of IC outline of an embodiment of an alignment apparatus accordchips that are formed on the surface of each semiconductor mg (0 me present invention'
wafer (hereinafter referred to simply as "wafer") are sub- TM„ ~ ■ c . ■ , . . , . c ,.
, v . , ... . . , , . , FIG. 2 is a front view showing the interior of the align
lected to various electrical inspections without changing the , , r -i
1 c . T , . . r . °. &t. 20 ment apparatus of FIG. 1; water conditions. In this inspection process, nondetective
wafers that carry no defective chips thereon are sorted out. FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the interior of the alignment
(defective ones with defective IC chips thereon.) Only the apparatus of FIG. 1;
non-defective wafers are subjected to the next process, such FIG. 4 is a perspective view mainly showing a moving
as a semiconductor device assembling process, whereupon body of the alignment apparatus of FIG. 1 and a drive
individual semiconductor devices are completed as prod- mechanism therefor;
ucts. Thus, the yield of the products is improved. In a typical FIGS. 5A and 5B are enlarged views of a wafer bearer
example of the inspection process, the individual IC chips shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, in which FIG. 5A is a perspective
are inspected by successively bringing the electrode pads of view, and FIG. 5B is an enlarged sectional view correspond
each IC chip into touch with probes of a probe card. In ing to a part of FIG. 5A;
another example, all the IC chips of each wafer are simul- 30 FIG 5C is acroSs-sectional view of a part of a modified
taneously inspected in one lot by bringing all the electrode bears'
pads corresponding to the IC chips and a plurality of rj„ c ■ , , , , , , , c.,
r rr.&. 5i-r r , FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a control system of the
contacts of an inspection contactor (hereinafter referred to ,. , Jvt^ -i
, r „, , , • , alignment apparatus of FIG. 1; simply as contactor ) corresponding to the pads into touch
with one another at a time 35 FIGS. 7A and 7B are views showing a wafer, in which
. ,. ^ if , _ . , . , if „ , . j, FIG. 7 A is a schematic layout mainly showing chips for
According to the latter process in which the IC chips of ,. ^ , „„ _„ . , , , . r r
, r . , .. , 4, . . j alignment, and FIG. 7B is an enlarged plan view of one of
each water are inspected collectively, the contactor and the , ° , . „„ , ° r
as references for the contactor, and their corresponding ,n FIGS' 8A> 8B and 8C are respectively views for illustrat
electrode pads, as references for the wafer, are successively lng different steps of alignment operation for a wafer and
aligned with one another in a manner such that their respec- bumps of a contactor,
tive positions are visually observed to be ascertained. The
bumps and the electrode pads are brought collectively into
touch with one another after they are aligned with success.
After this is done, the electrical inspections are conducted by An embodiment of the present invention will now be
using specific inspection devices, and the chips of the wafers described in detail with reference to the accompanying
are checked for conformity. Based on the result of this drawings of FIGS. 1 to 8C.
check, non-defective wafers are distinguished from defec- M shown in FIG X a wafer-contactor alignment appa
tive ones. 5Q ra(US (hereinafter referred to simply as "alignment
Conventionally, the bumps of a contactor and the elec- apparatus") according to the present embodiment comprises
trode pads of a wafer are aligned under visual observation, an alignment apparatus body (hereinafter referred to simply
as described above. Accordingly, aligning the bumps and as "apparatus body") 10 for aligning wafers W and a
their corresponding electrode pads is not an efficient transportation system 60 located adjacent to the apparatus
operation, costing an operator prolonged labor and increas- 55 body 10. The transportation system 60 serves to carry wafer
ing the operator's burden. Since the accuracy of alignment bearers 40 and contactors 50 into the apparatus body 10 and
varies depending on individual operators, moreover, it is raise and lower transportation vessels (hereinafter referred to
difficult to obtain a steady state of constant. as "transportation cassettes" or simply as "cassettes") 70.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION M shown in FJGS: 1 to 3.' the aPPf atus body 10 com
60 prises a cassette bearing section 11, a loader section 13, an
The object of the present invention is to provide an alignment section 14, a controller 15, and a display device
apparatus for aligning a wafer with a contactor, capable of 16. The cassette bearing section 11 carries thereon one or
quickly aligning all contacts used for the inspection of an two cassettes C (two cassettes as illustrated) each containing
inspection contactor and their corresponding electrode pads a plurality of wafers W that are held horizontally each and
of a wafer with high accuracy. 65 arranged vertically at narrow intervals. The loader section 13
Additional object and advantages of the invention will be includes a fork or forks 12 for transporting the wafers W in
set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be the cassette C. The alignment section 14 aligns the wafer W