While the wafer handling system employed in the XM8 is dedicated to either 3", 4", 5" or 6" wafer handling, wafer size conversion is simple and inexpensive. When it's time for an upgrade, parts kits may be purchased from Varian to convert your line to larger wafer diameters.


The XM-8 System employs the individual wafer metallization concept, which is unsurpassed in producing repeatable films run after run. Each wafer is placed in precisely the same source-to-substrate geometry resulting in excellent film quality and reproducibility. Wafer-to-wafer variations commonly observed in batch processing systems are eliminated.

Varian's XM-8 is designed to handle a variety of substrate geometries. It can be configured to perform a wide variety of thin film processes including backside metallization, aluminum alloy, and bubble memory (permalloy) processes. The highly efficient magnetron source is excellent for economical deposition of precious metals.

The unique wafer handling mechanism transfers wafers very gently and contributes to high yields for fragile substrates, such as backlapped silicon and costly gallium arsenide. The modular system architecture lends itself to a host of other applications, including ceramic substrates, e.g., thin film hybrids, thin film resistor networks, microwave circuits, and in the future, dielectric materials.

Control of pumpdown, valving, wafer transfer, and deposition is provided by a Model 5TI Process Controller. This Controller is simple, reliable, and also has a manual control feature to facilitate maintenance and enable the performance of special processes requiring manual control.

Gentle, Reliable Wafer Handling

The XM-8 employs a unique wafer shuttle system to transfer individual wafers from the entry load lock to each process station. To ensure reliability and minimize the chances of costly vacuum leaks which degrade the quality of sputtered films, the shuttle mechanism does not use any internal belts, chains, gears, or dynamic vacuum feedthroughs. Instead, the XM-8 uses a magnetically coupled drive mechanism for linear translation of each substrate from station to station. With this approach, wafers are handled very gently, making the XM-8 the ideal system for processing fragile substrates such as gallium arsenide and backlapped silicon.

The Model XM-8 system features fully automatic cassette-to-cassette wafer processing, minimizing operator errors and enhancing production yields.

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