Introducing the OIPT-RecipeViewer

Are you working with Oxford Instruments ALD / CVD / etch tools such as FlexAL and OpAL? The OIPT-RecipeViewer application by developed by PhyDev allows you to more easily view and debug recipes (highlighting e.g. common errors). It also makes it much easier to show a recipe’s intention to your coworkers or to visualize a recipe for use in a presentation. Furthermore, it allows you to work off-line from the comfort of your desk instead of having to use the production machine’s computer (typically next to some pumps).

You can find more information and download the application on this page or just download the application here: Note that the development and initiative for the OIPT-RecipeViewer application solely lie with PhyDev and that there is no affiliation with Oxford Instruments.

Figure: Screenshot of the OIPT-RecipeViewer application displaying a typical recipe. In this view, process parameters that are varying from step-to-step are shown in blue, with the red diamonds highlighting infrequently changing parameters.

The development of the OIPT-RecipeViewer was triggered by the realization that I was missing a “high-level” overview of the ALD recipes on the Oxford Instruments tools. For example, before an ALD run I want to do a quick check of the whole recipe; something for which the Oxford Instruments software is not made for. Sharing recipe intention with co-workers was also difficult so I decided to write the OIPT-RecipeViewer. Please let me know if you think it is useful (it is good to be able to quantify usage). If you have suggestions for improvements, let me know!

PhyDev is a company I founded to formalize my programming work specializing in scientific software written in Python, Java, or C++; Over the years I have written several publically available (and free to use) applications but also commercial (non-free / open) software. If you have an interesting and challenging (scientific) programming problem, feel free to contact me.

Neither PhyDev, nor the author of the software, nor 3rd parties are liable for any consequences of the use of the application.

If you encounter a bug, please report it by contact me directly or reporting the bug on

Key features of the OIPT-RecipeViewer

The OIPT-RecipeViewer was written to enable the following workflows:

  • Quickly get an overview of an entire recipe before starting e.g. a deposition run.
  • Visualize the variation of process parameters as a function of process steps.
  • Error detection in recipes, highlighting steps that fail to comply.
  • Reliable time-to-completion calculation.

The following features are especially useful for sharing and documenting of recipes:

  • Save recipes as “oipt” files facilitating easy sharing of recipe-intent between users.
  • Export recipes to Excel format for use in e.g. a presentation or document.
  • Highlight / find differences between recipes useful for e.g. standardization on a known-good recipe.
  • You can zip the entire Recdata folder on a Oxford Tool, move this zip file to e.g. an USB stick and open it from the comfort of your desk.

Figure: Graphing how parameters vary from step-to-step visualizes aspects of a recipe which can be useful in a presentation.

To fulfill these roles, customizability is a key feature of the OIPT-RecipeViewer:

  • Change and limit which process variables are being displayed.
  • How to display process variables:
    • Sorting (alphabetic, changing vs constant, user defined).
    • Highlight infrequent changing variables (trigger level).
    • Process steps shown either as rows or columns.
    • User-defined error conditions.

Figure: Dialog used to configure the view on the recipe.