loadlock and transfer system

Vacuum Cassette Elevator (VCE)

The Vacuum Cassette Elevator is a compact, cost effective, high-vacuum compatible loadlock elevator system for positioning a cassette of wafers or other substrates to allow a robot or other transfer device to take wafers from the cassette while under vacuum. Flexibility in design allows interface with a wide variety of cluster tool or standalone devices. The family of VCE systems can be configured for SEMI-standard 200mm/25 wafer or 300mm/13 wafer or custom cassettes. A customized Vacuum Cassette Elevator could handle reticles, masks or other substrate cassettes of varying sizes.

Install a preloaded cassette into the loadlock and evacuate the loadlock chamber. The VCE then precisely positions the cassette in the vertical direction allowing the robot or other transfer mechanism to repeatedly select and pull wafers from the cassette for delivery to the process chamber.

The typical VCE chamber has a manually operated clam-shell type door with door-closed sensor, smooth, easy-to-clean interior walls, a pump port and three auxiliary ports for venting, gauging, etc. The vertical drive mechanism comes standard with home and end limit sensors and a fine pitched, anti-backlash leadscrew preventing back driving on power loss. The drive can be computer controlled, joystick driven or even operated manually.

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Optional Items include:

Substrate protrusion sensor

Cassette presence/placement sensor

Door lock with lock actuation confirm sensor

Wafer mapping – cross-slotted wafer, missing wafer and double wafer sensing

E-stop switch

Heating capability (100 degrees C)

Aluminum cassette with quartz contacts
Chamber Machined aluminum block-HV compatible Metal with Viton O-rings
Positioning System All HV Compatible
Wafer/Substrate sizes 200mm / 300mm / custom
Wafers/Cassette Typical 200mm/25 wafer or 300mm/13 wafer cassette or custom
Footprint 17.5 inches x 14.156 inches
Chamber load opening 15.5 inch x 17 inch cassette load opening
Interface SEMI-E21.1-1296, 50mm x 336 mm
Volume 50 liters
Pump port ISO NW100
Weight ~ 118 pounds
Z-Travel Stroke 175mm (25x200mm wafers, or 13x300mm wafers) entire open cassette will index up and down entire stroke.
Indexing resolution < 0.1mm maximum
Repeatability < 0.2mm maximum
Motorization Controls
System I/O Controls Touchscreen, RS232 or digital I/O
Specifications subject to change without notice.


custom vacuum system

Vacuum Cassette Elevator Diagram
precision magnetic manipulator
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loadlock and transfer system