Thin film sensors

Measuring physical and chemical parameters

  • Reliable sensors in the smallest volume 
  • Reduced material consumption compared to thick film technology   
  • A wide variety of materials can be used

Flexible coating system for the production of various sensors


Cars can learn to be self-driving, ordinary citizens have a whole range of measurement technologies inside their smartphones, and hobbyists buy mini-computers and build automatic watering systems for their house plants. Complex automation is no longer expensive... and it takes a lot of sensors. Actually knowing the temperature, distance, pressure, force, humidity, pH value, gas concentration, etc. makes a theoretical simulation into something really helpful in everyday life. The market for inexpensive sensors is growing. As a consequence, more and more sensor manufacturers are asking themselves how they can manufacture smaller sensors with fewer expenses. The answer is: using thin-film technology. 

Requirements for the system

The system is intended to produce sensors such as conductors, capacitors, resistors, piezoresistive films, etc. deposited on 200 mm wafers. These thin films of metals, oxides or nitrides need to be applied over the entire surface of the wafer with a layer thickness non-uniformity of less than +/- 3% and the layers need to adhere well to the substrate as well as to each other. The system needs to be compatible with the SEMI standard so that upstream and downstream processes from the semiconductor industry can be used (for structuring, for example). In addition, the system also naturally needs to be able to process recipes for various sensors fully automated and coat a whole batch of substrates in one run without any operator interference. Finally, the system needs to be flexible and capable of future expansion, be able to produce even very small batches of special sensors and have the possibility of retrofitting new sensor production technologies (such as atomic layer deposition).

Solutions to requirements

The FHR.Star.300 vacuum system is compatible with the SEMI standard. The central chamber is equipped with a robot that transports the wafers between the chambers arranged around it. Depending on the recipe, the wafers in the entrance load lock are pre-treated or coated by sputtering with various layers (DC, pulsed DC and reactive DC sputtering) in one of the four process chambers before the robot places them in the exit load lock. You can select a different target to change the deposited material. Two free ports allow additional process chambers to be retrofitted later. As is the case with all FHR systems, everything is automatically controlled per recipe and all data is recorded so that it can be traced later.

The special features of this system are:

  • Multiple sputtering and etching processes in one system   
  • Wafer sizes of up to 200 mm  
  • Automated coating with full control over all process parameters   
  • Convenient change of the 300 mm targets   
  • Compatible with the SEMI standard


Thin films for microelectronic and optic

SEMI-Standard-compatible system

Key features



Machine dimension

3.2 m x 4.2m x 2.1 m, weight: 6.3 t

Number of process stations

6 (max.)

Number of load stations


Substrate size

Wafer diameter: 100 mm (4"), 150 mm (6"), 200 mm (8")

Layer thickness uniformity error

+/-3 %

Contact Sales Star Systems

Marcus Schüler
Product Manager

+49 35205 520-252 sales[at]