Vacuum Suitcase NREL
NREL Transport Pod
The portable Transport POD contains a removable cassette for handling six unique sample platens. Samples can be delivered from a deposition or analytical system operating under vacuum to the portable POD. Maintaining vacuum, the POD is moved and the samples transferred in vacuum to another tool. The objective is to keep the sample from being contaminated while in transport between tools or while waiting on the next process. The cassette can be removed from the POD, loaded with platens and then reinserted into the Transport Pod. The POD carries its own pumping system and UPS for powering the POD during moves.
At NREL the POD is used to transport samples between SEM, XPS, AFM and deposition systems. The cart was wedge shaped so it could connect to a port on a chamber containing a centralized robot of a cluster tool. These systems have NRELs standardized interface for acceptance of the portable POD and safety interlocking for the vacuum system of the transfer station and interstitial region between the transfer station and POD. The transfers occur at a facility standardized level of 1100 mm off the floor.