PHIDL: Python CAD layout and geometry creation for nanolithography

by   A. N. McCaughan, et al.

Computer-aided design (CAD) has become a critical element in the creation of nanopatterned structures and devices. In particular, with the increased adoption of easy-to-learn programming languages like Python there has been a significant rise in the amount of lithographic geometries generated through scripting and programming. However, there are currently unaddressed gaps in usability for open-source CAD tools – especially those in the GDSII design space – that prevent wider adoption by scientists and students who might otherwise benefit from scripted design. For example, constructing relations between adjacent geometries is often much more difficult than necessary – spacing a resonator structure a few micrometers from a readout structure often requires manually-coding the placement arithmetic. While inconveniences like this can be overcome by writing custom functions, they are often significant barriers to entry for new users or those less familiar with programming. To help streamline the design process and reduce barrier to entry for scripting designs, we have developed PHIDL, an open-source GDSII-based CAD tool for Python 2 and 3.



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