Residual Gas Analysis for Vacuum Processing

For process monitoring and leak detection

Vacuum processes require strict control of gas composition, and contamination to maintain and improve product quality and yield.

Residual Gas Analysis for Vacuum Processing


Residual gas analysers, RGA, are used for process monitoring and leak detection, offering a unique window into the vacuum processing environment. Analysis of the partial pressures of vacuum residuals including water vapour, hydrocarbons, VOCs, and air leaks is routine.

Operating software provides for vacuum scanning providing a fingerprint of the residual gases, trend analysis of the partial pressures of multiple species plotted and displayed against a time axis and updated in real time, and leak detection with user selectable search gas, helium for example. Threshold level alarms with integrated ‘events’ with I/O provide for vacuum process control.

Vacuum processes where Hiden Analytical residual gas analysers are used include :

Semiconductor and thin films :

Magnetron sputtering
ALD – atomic layer deposition
CVD – chemical vapour deposition
MOCVD – metal organic chemical vapour deposition
PECVD – plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition
MBE – molecular beam epitaxial growth
RIE – plasma reactive ion etch
IBE/RIBE – ion beam etch and reactive ion beam etch

and almost any other process that operates at low pressure including :

Vacuum furnaces
Vacuum coating
Freeze drying
Glass coating
Sputter coating

The Hiden HMT RGA includes two modes of operation providing residual gas analysis of processes at pressure up to 5X10-3 mbar and high vacuum mode for high sensitivity vacuum diagnostics and leak detection. The HMT residual gas analyser is a cost effective vacuum process monitor that does not require differential vacuum pumping for operation.

Hiden’s HPR-30 system is a differentially pumped residual gas analyser with re-entrant sampling orifice enabling high sensitivity and fast response measurement of gas composition changes in vacuum processes in the 10-4 mbar to 5 mbar pressure range.