SUSS MicroTec AG introduces a non-contact probe system. Using a patented technique, it acquires signals from the smallest features without loading the circuit under test. The SUSS system does not rely on optical emissions for acquisition and supplies both voltage and timing information. As the trend in integrated circuit design moves toward internal operating voltages below 1 volt and the use of 65 nanometer design rules, measuring signals from these devices using standard probing technology is nearly impossible. Additional structures must be deposited on the circuit because most probe tips are too large to contact small elements. Furthermore, if contact can be made using standard probes, measurements acquired from the DUT do not accurately represent the operational properties of the circuit due to the loads incurred by the probe. With the new non-contact system from SUSS, the problems of testing these new integrated circuits are solved. The integral atomic force probe, in combination with a highly stable prober, such as the SUSS PM8, enables deep sub-micron scanning and positioning. After the tip is positioned above the area of interest it is stimulated with electrical pulses. By measuring the forces generated between the electrical signal from the DUT and the charged tip, the software extracts the signal voltage waveform, all without contacting the DUT. Signal acquisition operates in free air or through thinned silicon or oxide.

SUSS MicroTec