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The vibration displacement distributions along a transducer used in ultrasonic wire bonding were measured using a heterodyne interferometer, and many nodes and anti-nodes were found. A mechanical finite element method (FEM) was used to compute the resonant frequencies and vibration mode shapes. The displacement distributions of the dominant 2nd axial mode agreed well with the measured values. Undesirable nonaxial modes, including the higher order flexural and torsional modes, also were excited at frequencies very close to the working frequency (2nd axial mode) of the transducer. Hence, the measured displacements were the resultant of all the allowable modes being excited. However, the excitation of these nonaxial modes were small enough not to affect the formation of consistent and high quality wire bonds. Results of the present study were used to determine a suitable location for installing a piezoelectric sensor to monitor the bond quality.