Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT) has recently developed a new feature for use with its dry pumps, called N2 Standby Mode, which will save energy and nitrogen used by its plasma etch, deposition and growth systems. Previously, systems with dry pumps have had their nitrogen purge set continually at up to 35 litres per minute, but the nitrogen only needs to run at these levels when the chamber is running process gases.
OIPT’s newly introduced Dry Pump N2 Standby Mode will save up to 96% of nitrogen gas usage when in ‘standby’ mode compared to usage during processing. When the Systems are just pumping, on ‘idle’ or ‘standby’ mode, the nitrogen inlet to the dry pump can be controlled to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering the pump, while still continuing to purge the pump bearings. As well as benefiting the environment, this capability also offers significant cost reductions.
The pump can be set via Oxford Instruments’ PC2000 system software to run the preset flow of nitrogen for a set period prior to and after a process has completed its run, allowing all gases to be safely diluted and pumped away, before returning to the N2 Standby Mode. Initially this new capability can only be offered on systems configured with Adixen pumps. It is integrated as standard on new OIPT systems.
“Oxford Instruments was recently promoted to the FTSE Green Index and this new capability is just one of a number of initiatives we are undertaking to reduce our – and our customers’ – carbon footprint”, comments Mark Vosloo, OIPT Sales and Customer Support Director. “With the added benefit of reduced cost of ownership, this can only be a win-win situation for everyone. We pride ourselves on offering a long term commitment to our customers, giving them the assurance that we want to extend the life of OIPT tools and make them as environmentally friendly as possible.”