Data coding tools for color-coded vector nanolithography
We propose and demonstrate the ability and efficiency of using a universal file format for a nanolithography pattern. A problem faced by the physicists working in the field of nanolithography is a lack of a flexible pattern design software (possibly open–source) that could be applied in combination with a broad range of commercial scanning probe microscope (SPM) systems. The current nanolithography software packages are device–specific and not portable. Therefore, it is impossible to make a lithography pattern and share it with fellow physicists working on a networked sub-system. In this paper we describe the software designed to read and interpret a nanolithography pattern stored in a Windows Metafile (WMF) standard graphic format and next to draw it on a substrate using an SPM tip. The nanolithography parameters like height, velocity, feedback force, etc. are coded in the color of the WMF onto the RGB channels of the image establishing a distinct relation between a graphical feature (color) and the used nanolithography scheme (voltage, height, etc.). The concept enables preparation of complex patterns using any standard graphic software and aids an intuitive recognition of the mode and parameters set for a pattern. The advantages of using a WMF over other approaches and the universal scope of the software are discussed.