Getting started#

An installed python version = 3.8 is required.

Create a virtual environment and active it with

$ python -m venv .venv
# for *nix systems
$ source .venv/bin/activate
# for MS windows
$ .venv\Scripts\activate.bat

See here for further information on virtual environments.

Install the fib-o-mat package with

$ pip install --upgrade fibomat

If this does not work for you, fib-o-mat must be build from source for your system. This is explained here.

“Hello world” example#

This getting started guide shows how to create a simple patterning layout. The layout will consist of a line and rectangular shape.

The complete python file can be found in the git’s example folder.

Starting point of each patterning design is the Sample class. This class is the gluing between everything else in this library.

from fibomat import Sample, Pattern, Mill, U_, Q_
from fibomat import shapes, raster_styles, linalg, default_backends

sample = Sample(description='an optional description for yourself')

Next, a patterning site must be defined. The patterning site defines the stage position of the microscope and the field of view to be used during the patterning process.

(Physical) units, if needed, are specified with the help of the fibomat.units submodule. See the documentation for some examples. In the patterning site creation process, units are needed to specify the lengths unit for the stage position and the field of view.

site = sample.create_site(
    dim_position=(123, 456) * U_('µm'), dim_fov=(5, 5) * U_('µm'), description='another description'

The site will be located at (123, 456) µm and will have a field of view of (5, 5) µm in horizontal and vertical direction, respectively. The interpretation of dim_position value is dependent on your microscope. For details, consult the documentation of the used exporting backend (this concept will be introduced a little later).

The library has some predefined shapes which can be used to build patterning geometries. A list of all shapes is given at Geometric shapes.

The pattering settings are specified with classes given in the fibomat.mill and fibomat.raster_styles submodules. The former class is used to define the dwell time per spot and the latter class is used to define the rasterization method to be used. Shapes and patterning settings are collected in class called Pattern. It merges geometries, mill settings and some optional additional parameters.

Putting all together for a line shape

# the mill object defines the dwell time per spot and the total number of repeats
 single_repeat_mill = Mill(
     dwell_time=Q_('5 ms'), repeats=1

 # a single line
 line = shapes.Line(start=(-2, 2), end=(2, 0.5))

 # The used rasterizatio style. the line is rasterized with a constant pitch of 1 nm in a consecutive (linear) way.
 line_style = raster_styles.one_d.Curve(pitch=Q_('1 nm'), scan_sequence=raster_styles.ScanSequence.CONSECUTIVE)

 # everything is collected in a pattern
 line_pattern = Pattern(
     dim_shape=line * U_('µm'),

Note that the line is equipped with a length unit during pattern creation. Otherwise the scaling would not be defined.


The shape position is interpreted always relative to the center of the corresponding site, not to the global coordinate system.

Secondly, a square is added to the sample. In contrast to the line pattern before, the definition of the rasterization style is more complicated. Here, the square is rasterized line-by-line with lines parallel to the y-axis. The lines are ordered in a consecutive way. Here, the square is rasterized line-by-line with lines parallel to the y-axis. The lines are ordered in a consecutive way. Additionally, the rasterization style of the individual lines must be given to. In doing so, a similar style is used as shown in the line pattern shown before.

square = shapes.Rect(width=2, height=2, center=(0, -1))

# rasterize the square line-by-line. see text for details
square_style = raster_styles.two_d.LineByLine(
    line_pitch=10 * U_('nm'),
    alpha=0,  # angle of the rasterized lines towards the y axis
    invert=False,  # if True, the rasterization goes from top to bottom and from bottom to top if False
    line_style=raster_styles.one_d.Curve(pitch=10 * U_('nm'), scan_sequence=raster_styles.ScanSequence.CONSECUTIVE)

# we can also create the pattern in-place
    dim_shape=square * U_('µm'),

Finally, the finished pattern layout can be plotted and exported. Exporting is carried out via so called backends. A backend takes all sites with their contained patterns and creates a file (or something else) a microscope can understand. Currently, only two backends are available in the open source library: first, a plotting backend for visualization and secondly, a rasterization backend. The rasterization backend rasterizes all geometries and creates a text file with all spots and their corresponding dwell times.


# export as text file

The output format of the SpotListBackend can be customized and is demonstrated here.

The resulting plot is shown below. The blue box shows the field ov view of the patterning site. The yellow shapes represent the patterning geometries.

Select on one of the zoom tools in the right panel to zoom in and out, either with scrolling or a box selection. Hovering over the shapes opens a pop-up menu which displays some information about the geometry, mill and rasterization style.

Additionally, use the measure band tool (icon with horizontal arrow) to measure distances and angles.

Source: viggge/fib-o-mat/-/blob/master/examples/

Further, the script exports a file containing the rasterized patterns according to the settings given above. This file (‘getting_started.txt’) can be visualized with the ion beam simulation tool.