MKS acquires Wenzel’s MEMS-based vacuum gauging technology

Andover, MA—MKS Instruments Inc. recently expanded its vacuum gauging portfolio by ac-quiring privately held Wenzel Instruments (Hallebaek, Denmark) and its micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology.


Andover, MA— MKS Instruments Inc. recently expanded its vacuum gauging portfolio by ac-quiring privately held Wenzel Instruments (Hallebaek, Denmark) and its micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Wenzel’s technology includes newly developed, solid-state, MEMS-based vacuum sensors for vacuum-related applications. These include loadlock control in gas-based manufacturing processes in the semiconductor, flat panel and data storage, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries.

'Most vacuum gauges on the market today are based on technology developed decades ago,' says Bill Stewart, VP and GM of MKS’s vacuum products group. 'Today's advanced manufacturing processes require process control sensors with higher accuracy and faster response in a smaller footprint. By acquiring innovative micro-machined pirani and piezoelectric transducer technology, we’re expanding our vacuum gauge products to meet these demands.'

For instance, acquiring Wenzel is allowing MKS to augment its HPS product line with a Piezo sensor for atmosphere sensing and an ultra-compact MicroPirani solid-state thermal conductivity vacuum gauge for rough-to-medium vacuum measurement. The small size of the MicroPirani sensor allows it to be integrated with the solid-state Piezo sensor, which creates a dual sensor transducer capable of measuring a wide dynamic range from above atmospheric pressure to high vacuum. Also, MKS has integrated the MEMS sensors into its advanced instrumentation prod-ucts.

MKS provides products that measure, control, power and monitor parameters of semiconductor and other advanced manufacturing process environments. Its products are used to manufacture semiconductors; thin-film coatings for flat-panel displays, optical and magnetic storage products, architectural glass and electro-optical products; and medical equipment.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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