Micropole System QL Series

Quadrupole Mass Analyzer

The MICROPOLE system is one of the smallest mass spectrometer systems making it easy to install. The system is proven to be an ideal solution for many chamber characterization applications. The compact size is achieved by the patented design of miniature array of quadrupole mass filters. The system is capable of operating at much higher pressures than traditional systems, so the need for additional differential pumping equipment is reduced.

Segment: Semiconductor
Manufacturing Company: HORIBA STEC, Co., Ltd.
  • Extremely compact size and lightweight
    1/20th size when compared to conventional residual gas analyzers making it easy to integrate to any system
  • High performance
    Mini array of 9 quadrupoles gives excellent sensitivity at a fraction of the volume of traditional quadrupoles

  • High pressure operation
    Can be used at up to 0.9Pa (7mTorr, 9 x 10-3mbar) resulting in the reduction or elimination of expensive vacuum pumping for many applications

  • Interchangeable sensor head in calibration
    The sensor heads are pre-tuned and calibrated prior to shipment allowing the user to make sensor changes in the field without the need for fine tuning or technical expertise

  • Network sensors
    Up to eight sensors can be monitored by a single PC using RS-485. PC-less scan operation by external I/O is also possible.

  • User friendly software
    Micropole Scanner™ 2 software allows the user to monitor partial pressures of gases in various modes e.g. trend graph, spectrum graph, bar graph.

Measurement principle

The quadrupole mass analyzer consists of an ion source, a mass ion detector. The residual gas is ionized when it collides with the thermoelectrons discharged from the high-temperature filament, and the ions that are thereby created accelerate and converge onto the mass filter.  At the mass filter, varying direct current and RF is applied to the electrodes (quadropoles), which allows the ions to be separated by mass. The separated ions are detected as electric current by the Faraday cup. The ion current is proportional to the partial pressure of the residual gas.

Measurement principle

Measurement principle



The feature that makes the quadrupole mass analyzer unique is the MICROPOLETM Analyzer (MPA); a grouping of nine quadropoles that takes full advantage of ultraprecision optical etching processing technology and glass/metal joint technology. The development of the MPA has enabled the creation of the quadrupole mass analyzer, world's smallest residual gas analyzer, while offering the same or better sensitivity as conventional, larger mass spectrometers. The analyzer is a plug-in unit. It features a sensor unit that has already been calibrated for partial pressure and offers absolute total and partial pressure measurement. 


Chamber condition monitoring

The Microople System QL Series has been used for measuring residual gases for a long time due to its compactness. In the metal sputtering process, it is necessary to reduce the partial pressure of oxygen-based gases in order to avoid oxidation of sputtered metals. Once a chamber is exposed to air for maintenance, it takes time to reduce residual gases and the quadrupole mass analyzer is suitable to check the chamber condition.


Plasma process monitoring

The quadrupole mass analyzer has one of the in-situ process monitoring techniques for plasma processes including etching, sputtering and dry cleaning. In the deposition process of transparent conductive oxide films by reactive sputtering, the control of oxygen-based gases is critical for both transparency and conductivity. Recent complexity of semiconductor processes require additional process monitoring tools for shortening equipment ramp-up time and detecting process abnormalities.

External Dimensions (mm)


Micropole System
Spectrum Generator

Mass Rangem/z 2-65m/z 2-100m/z 4-300
Mass Filter TypeQadrupole
DetectorFaraday cup
Measurement Scan Speed50 - 6400 ms/m/z
Ionization Voltage43eV or 70eV selectable
Operating Temperature15 - 45°C
Operating Humidity80%RH or less (not condensing)
Storage Temperature0 - 80°C
Weight (with Special Clamp for SMPA Type Sensor)575g
DemensionW150 x H62 x D747 (mm)
RS485 communication baud rate115.2K / 38.4K / 9.6Kbps
Analog I/O interfaceInput: 0-10V 2ch, Output: 0-10V 4ch
Contact I/OTool status 3ch, Control signal input 3ch, Set point output 5ch
Power inputDC 24V +/-5%, 100mVpp, 50W
Connector typeRound type connector: PRC03-23A10-4M

* The below sensor specifications are based on a scanning speed of 400ms m/z unit.
* Windows 10 and higher based configuration and data acquisition software is included.







Measured Upper Limit Pressue (N2)*1





Maximum Operating Pressure (N2)*2





Minimum Detectable Partial Pressure (N2)

5.0×10-6Pa (70eV)

Resolution (FWHM: N2)

1.2±0.3 m/z units

1.0±0.3 m/z units

1.5±0.3 m/z units

1.8±0.3 m/z units

Maximum Bake out Temperature ( SG removed )


Maximum Operating Temperature ( SG installed )


Mounting Flange

ISO-KF16 (NW 16), CF34 (ICF 34)


MPA:CF34 Flange           50g
SMPA:ISO-KF16 Flange  50g
SMPA:CF34 Flange         70g


SMPA:ISO-KF16 Flange  50g
SMPA:CF34 Flange         70g

MPA:CF34 Flange           50g
SMPA:ISO-KF16 Flange  50g
SMPA:CF34 Flange         70g


Y2O3/Ir  2pcs

3%Re/W  2pcs

Y2O3/Ir  2pcs



* SMPA type sensor is protected by a mesh on the vacuum fitting, designed to extend the lifetime of sensor in harsh environment such as plasma processes.

*1  A pressure at which the Q-mass signal output is saturated. Beyond this pressure, signal outputs may not correspond to actual pressures.

*2  An upper limit pressure that can be operated. If an operating pressure exceed the limit one, the measurement may stop to protect the sensor.


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HORIBA is one of the world's largest gas and liquid mass flow controller manufacturers, with a range of analogue, digital and high temperature mass flow controllers along with the point of use liquid source vaporization control and delivery systems.

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