News and Reviews (May 2014)

Software Update: DeScribe 2.2

Improved workflow with automatic splitting for large structures


Convert image files into 2.5D relief structures.

(Roman Reiner) DeScribe is our ­custom tool for developing and editing GWL files which are used for defining ­structures and automating the writing process with our Photonic Professional systems.
Soon we will release the new version DeScribe 2.2 which improves on the previous version with several new features including automatic splitting in the STL import tool, conversion of image files into 2.5D relief structures and an even faster 3D preview.

As the speed of our lithography systems increased 100-fold with the market introduction of the Photonic Professional GT, new mesoscale applications required continuous structures beyond the size of one scan field. This introduced the need to split larger structures into smaller writable blocks.
With DeScribe 2.2 splitting is neatly integrated into the STL import tool leaving the familiar workflow almost untouched. There are two splitting modes tailored to piezo and galvo scan mode, respectively, and a convenient user interface giving you the usual what-you-see-is-what-you-get ­experience.

The import tool now also supports the conversion of image files into 2.5D relief structures where each pixel value corresponds to a height value similar to the structures obtained using grayscale lithography. The color-to-height conversion can be controlled with a channel mixer and a range selector. Pixelation can be reduced with bilinear interpolation.
The import tool supports various file types including formats with 16 bits per channel for improved vertical resolution and can be combined with the new splitting feature.

The rendering engine has been completely rewritten and upgraded to use DirectX 11. DeScribe now uses the most advanced 3D technology to preview your structures and gets the most out of even high-end graphics cards. Older graphics hardware is still supported if you are using the newest driver version.

left: Splitting a millimeter cube into smaller blocks of size
250 x 250 x 125 µm3.
Snapshot of the block-by-block writing process.