AMBER

System Requirements

Dell Workstation with at least: 2GB RAM, Dual Core 2.8 GHz Pentium D processor
National Instruments PCI-6601 card
Shutter Timing Interface

Installation

First time installation

All software distribution is through the www.mbecontrol.com website. A USB key is required to run the software.

1. Install NIDAQ (Installation CD is included with the PCI-6601). When installing NIDAQ, make sure that LabVIEW 7.1 support is installed by selecting the custom installation option.
2. Install PCI-6601 card and let computer automatically install driver
3. Download and install security key driver (KeyInstall.zip)
4. Download and unzip latest AMBER installation folder. Run install.msi.
5. Download and unzip AMBER support file folder. This should be placed in the c drive so the path is C:\AMBER. If you do not have a drive with the path C:\ it will be necessary to change the drive letter to C:\.
6. Download and unzip any additional AMBER instrument driver files and plug-ins. Each instrument driver has a *.vi file and a corresponding *.llb file that should both be placed in C:\AMBER\Instruments . Each plug-in has 3 files; a *.vi file, a *.llb file, and a *.txt file which should all be placed in C:\AMBER\Plug-ins.
7. Run AMBER from Start->All Programs->AMBER
8. OPTIONAL STEP : Purchase and install LabVIEW 7.1 to create your own plug-ins or instrument drivers. Plug-ins may also be created using C, C++, or Visual Basic.

Upgrading AMBER

All the log files, configuration files, instrument drivers and plug-ins are stored in C:\AMBER and are unchanged by upgrading to a new version of the software.

Download and unzip latest AMBER installation folder. Run install.msi. The new version of AMBER will be installed without changing earlier versions. Earlier versions may be uninstalled using the windows remove program control panel. Running the same installer program again will uninstall that version.

Adding new instrument drivers or plug-ins

Download and unzip AMBER instrument driver files and plug-ins. Each instrument driver has a *.vi file and a corresponding *.llb file that should both be placed in C:\AMBER\Instruments . Each plug-in has 3 files; a *.vi file, a *.llb file, and a *.txt file which should all be placed in C:\AMBER\Plug-ins.

Hardware Installation

Before starting AMBER plug in the Shutter Timing Interface into the PCI-6601 card installed in the computer using a 68 pin cable. The shutter controller output follows the same pinout as the National Instruments PCI-6503 so it remains compatible with users upgrading from Epic or Molly. The pinouts are shown below:

The shutter output is a TTL compatible signal. When the shutter is intended to be open, a +5V signal is present on the corresponding output pin.

Configuration

Run AMBER and access the configuration windows through the Configure menu. When AMBER is started, it prompts the user to select a configuration file. Start with a blank configuration file.

IMPORTANT: Any time the configuration calls for a “Name” it must have no spaces. A “Label” may contain spaces.

General Settings

Set the timer device number to the value that was assigned to the PCI-6601 card. To determine the device number go to the National Instruments Measurement and Automation Explorer.

Several other parameters can be set in this list. A description of what the parameter sets appears to the right.

Shutters

There are 24 shutter channels available in AMBER. The list box shows what is assigned to each of the shutter channels. For each channel, the relevant information appears below the list box. The following information can be set:

Shutter Name
Create a short name for the shutter with no spaces. Examples: As, Ga, In, CBr4, Pyro, VP, Al_1, In2, P, N2. The name should be short enough to fit inside the indicator (4 letters or less)

Visibility
Is the shutter visible. To control manually, the shutter must be visible.

Open During Pause?
When a recipe is paused while running, the shutters are closed and deposition is stopped. To automatically keep a shutter open during the pause (such as the As shutter when growing GaAs or the Pyrometer viewport shutter) select this box.

Size
Size of the indicator.

X position, Y position
Co-ordinates of the indicator. The circular display to the right is an optional control to help you position the shutters in circular patterns. Click on the position in the small display and the currently selected shutter will move the corresponding position in the main display. The number of shutters and radius of a circular pattern can be selected. The Start at Top checkbox sets the phase.

Color when closed and when open
Simply click on the color box to set the color of the control of each individual control when opened and closed. Click on the shutters indicators to preview how it will look.

Materials

Materials are shutter combinations for growing a particular material. A material must be created for each combination of shutters. This is usually the most time consuming step in the configuration and must be performed after the shutters are defined. A complicated system may have 20 or more different materials.

Create a unique name for each material with no spaces and without using any of the forbidden characters ( = : ; . , ) ( [ ] { } & % ). Typical names include: GaAs, nGaAs, InP, AlGaAs, AlGaAs2, AlGaAs_Si, etc. The name does not need to have any relationship to the names of the shutters.

For each material, a growth rate must be associated with that material. To select a rate that has already been defined, double-click the desired rate. To create a new rate, type it in the box. The rate list may not update until a different material has been selected. Multiple materials may have the same rate. For example, GaAs and Si doped GaAs both have effectively the same rate.

For each material, click the shutters that should be opened when that material is called.

Eurotherm

This is where Eurotherm controllers are configured. Create a Label and a Name for each controller. The Label can have spaces and the Name must have no spaces. It is best to keep the names short.

Select the parameters to read. If a controller is temporarilly disabled, deselect all the parameters so the communications will not be slowed down by repeated attempts to read a controller that is turned off or otherwise disabled.

Enter the configuration parameters in the list at the right. If the arrow to the right of the text field is not greyed out, click it to pull down a list of choices.

Associating a shutter with a particular eurotherm is optional. A feature that is currently in development will eventually make use of this information. At the moment, the information is not used.

Instruments

The instruments are where devices such as pressure gauges, pyrometers, and other sensors are configured here. The available instruments are determined by the drivers that have been placed in the C:\AMBER\Instruments directory. For each driver there is a *.vi file and a *.llb file. To create new instrument drivers a copy of LabVIEW 7.1 is required. The instrument drivers have a structure that can be copied from a template provided by MBE Control Solutions.

Each instrument has different parameters that must be configured. These appear at the right. Clicking the desired instrument in the Available Instruments list will bring up the parameters that must be configured. Enter the configuration parameters in the list at the right. If the arrow to the right of the text field is not greyed out, click it to pull down a list of choices.

The Low Limit and High Limit enable a color change in the instrument indicator. If the measured value is in the range, the color appears green. It turns red when the value is outside the range. If the fields are left blank, the value will always appear as black text on a white background.

Plug-ins

An extremely powerful feature of AMBER is that it allows for modular software components to provide additional functionallity. These plug-in modules are configured here. Plug-ins consist of three files a *.vi, a *.llb, and a *.txt file that are all placed in C:\AMBER\Plug-ins. To create new plug ins, a copy of LabVIEW 7.1 is required. The instrument drivers have a structure that can be copied from a template provided by MBE Control Solutions. Plug-ins created in a different programming enviornment (C, C++, Visual Basic) run in a separate floating window and are not configured in Plug-In setup. For this reason, LabVIEW 7.1 is the preferred enviornment for plug-in development.

Configuration is similar to instrument configuration with the addition of Position. There are 4 plug-in slots. Each plug in must be dedicated to its own slot number 1, 2, 3 or 4.

Display

This is where the appearance of the Main tab is configured. Any of the information displayed here is also displayed in the lists on the Instruments tab. Typically, the most important values such as chamber pressure or substrate temperature can be displayed here.

The background image that appears across the space is set in the General Settings and must be a JPEG file that is 1159×535 pixels. Set the image before configuring the display.

Add a new item to the display and create a label. The font size, color and background color of the indicator can be set. To preview how it will look, enter some text into the indicator. Set the size and position.

USEFUL TIP: To quickly position the current indicator, hold down the CTRL key and click at the desired location. The control will move to that location.

Select the information that should be displayed in the indicator. Any value (pressure, temperature, output power, etc.) that is being monitored by AMBER can be displayed.

To add text to the display, select Constant and enter the string to display in the indicator.