LUMA Metall AB supplies Tungsten wire and Tungsten-Rhenium wire to the integrated circuit testing industry making probe needles or pins. Integrated circuit testing means setting up several probe needles on a board which is then used as a tester of the connections on an assembled circuit board. Some areas using probe needles are wafer sort testing, LCD probe testing and LED probe testing. Other areas are nanotechnology probe applications, medical electrodes and a variety of industrial applications.
For this application area, tungsten and tungsten-rhenium are excellent materials due to their strength and conductive properties. Normally the wire has a clean or polished surface finish. For specific purposes in this field Luma Metall also supply multi layer coated wire. Other important characteristics are straightness and non-brittleness. A minimization of cracks in the material is crucial as the needles have a pointy tip, where the accuracy of the tip cannot be affected by any pockets in the wire. The quality of the probes is measured by the lifespan and repeatedly accuracy in testing. Probe needles made of tungsten or tungsten-rhenium are said to have a low and stable contact resistance, to be non-oxidizing and to show minimal pad damage.