Load-lock News




New transducer for load-lock pressure control

Product news & Press release

February 27th, 2020

In many industries, like the semiconductor, analytical and PVD coating industry, devices must be cycled and transferred from ambient air pressure to a vacuum chamber for processing or analysis under vacuum. These applications typically use an auxiliary vacuum chamber called a load lock, where the vacuum gas pressure must be accurately controlled during the pump-down and ventilation cycle.

The VPM-7 SmartPirani™ ATM is a next-generation vacuum transducer for load lock control that combines different types of sensor technologies to provide an all-in-one solution for advanced and reliable load lock pressure control.  

 “A year ago, we launched the record-breaking and patent pending SmartPirani™ transducer that has been well-received by the vacuum industry. However, we learned that some of our customers needed an atmospheric switching function in combination with the Pirani measurement capabilities down to 1.0E-6 mbar (7.5E-7 Torr), and we solved the challenge by adding an atmospheric switch function and pressure measurement capability relative to ambient atmospheric pressure.” said Ole Wenzel, CEO of Sens4 A/S.

“The SmartPirani™ ATM transducer is a true multi-sensor transducer with a market-leading wide range heat-loss MEMS sensor for measurement from 1.0E-6 to 2 mbar and an absolute diaphragm sensor that offers gas type independent measurement from 2 to 1,333 mbar.” said Dr. Caspar Christiansen CTO of Sens4 A/S. Caspar continues: “The transducer includes a precision barometric sensor used for reference to ambient pressure which makes precision control of gas back-fill and ventilation of load-lock vacuum systems possible.”

The SmartPirani™ ATM offers a flexible interface and several control options including high-resolution analog output with emulation curves for other vendors vacuum gauges, 3 independent solid-state relays and digital RS-232 or RS-485 interface.

Furthermore, the SmartPirani™ ATM comes with a new, innovative approach for visually determining the measured pressure by a multi-color RGB LED that smoothly changes color throughout the vacuum pressure range. This new visual function is a low-cost alternative to integrated displays and provides a rough indication of the measured pressure. It also provides a clear visual warning if the vacuum system is pressurized above ambient pressure.   


The modern SmartPirani™ ATM offers pin and output compatibility with legacy load-lock transducers and can easily be used for performance upgrades of existing vacuum system installations without making changes to the system software and wiring.

For more information visit the VPM-7 SmartPirani™ ATM product page >>

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