This page contains a limited FAQ on the HIVE-STM program. If you encounter any problems. Feel free to contact me.

  1. How/Where can I get HIVE-STM?
  2. Will the program run on my machine?
  3. What are the conditions of usage? What is the cost?
  4. How should I acknowledge this program in a publication?
  5. Can I give this program to a colleague/student/friend/…?
Program Usage
  1. Upon starting the program I get a popup saying: “the application was unable to start correctly
  2. The STM-picture looks strange:
    1. The lattice vectors of my surface-cell are non-orthogonal. 
    2. There are pink spots/areas in the STM-picture.
  1. Is there a virus/worm/trojan build into HIVE?
  2. My Antivirus-browser-plugin blocks the download of the program.
  3. My Antivirus program claims HIVE to contain a Trojan/Trojan-downloader.


Q: How/Where can I get HIVE-STM?

It is very simple to obtain HIVE-STM, just send me an email (danny.vanpoucke(at)
with your request. Preferably this email should contain following information (for my administrative purposes only):

  • Name and (academic-)affiliation
  • A short description of your research (2-3 lines suffices, but is not a limit 😉 )


  • Your position (Ba., Ma., PhD, post-doc, assistant prof., technical staff, …)
  • Link to your personal webpage (can be Research Gate/Linkedin)
  • Link to the group-website
Q: Will the program run on my machine?

The program is written in Delphi (object-pascal) and is a native 32-bit windows program. It was originally developed on a windows-XP machine, but since then run on various windows-OS versions.

  • Windows: windows-XP, Windows-7, Windows-10 (I have tested these myself), probably also windows-vista, and windows-8.
  • Unix-based: As the program is a windows-executable you will need an emulator (or virtual machine) such as for example wine. [more on wine on wikipedia]
Q: What are the conditions of usage for this software? How much does it cost?

This program is made available free of charge. Permission to use this program is granted under the following conditions:

  1. It’s use is properly acknowledged in publications using the results.
  2. You should not redistribute any copy of the distributed files without my explicit written permission to do so.
Q: How should I acknowledge this program in a publication?

A suitable reference for the use of the HIVE-STM program is:

Danny E. P. Vanpoucke and G. Brocks,
Phys. Rev. B 77, 241308(R) (2008),
doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.77.241308

If you also make use of the smoothing function to simulate a broadened STM-tip you should also include:

Danny E. P. Vanpoucke,
Ph.D. Thesis at University of Twente, The Netherlands (2009),
doi: 10.3990/1.9789036528733
Q: Can I give this program to a colleague/student/friend/…?

No, you can not. This is one of the conditions of usage. However, your colleague/student/friend/… can contact me and get his own copy of the program.

Program usage

Q: Upon starting the program I get a popup saying: “the application was unable to start correctly

The program requires the qtintf70.dll which was a default part of older Windows OS’s. As it is no longer included in more recent windows OS’s, I have included it into the zipfile containing the program. The qtintf70.dll is zipped and needs to be unzipped in the folder containing the hive-STM executable. Note that in windows a default setting hides “known” extensions, which includes “.zip” so you will see a file qtintf70.dll even though it is zipped. For your specific windows OS switch on the option to show extensions (or switch of the option to hide them) and unzip the qtintf70.dll file. Now everything should start without an issue.

The STM-picture looks strange

Q: The lattice vectors of my surface-cell are non-orthogonal.

The STM-program was written with the intention to be used only for my own research on Pt induced nanowires. The surface unit cells used for this research had nicely orthogonal lattice vectors, so at that time I kept the implementation simple, and I followed the geometry cubic symmetry of the data-array present in PARCHGCAR files. Unfortunately, if you want to visualize a hexagonal surface (e.g. graphene) you end up with a skewed STM image. However, there is an easy (post-processing) solution: (example for graphene where the angle between the basis-vectors of the surface is 30°)

  1. Use your preferred graphics processing program. (MS-paint, Paint.Net, …)
  2. Using MS-paint:
    1. choose Resize → Skew → horizontal -30°  ⇒ This results in a hexagonal grid.
    2. Skewing with paint in this simple way will stretch the vertical side of the square(rectangle) → y’=y/cos(30°), making it 15% longer. This can be circumvented by simply first stretching the image in the x-direction by 15%, and then skewing the image 30°
Q: There are pink spots/areas in the STM-picture.

First of, this is not an artifact of the program, as some might recognize the fuchsia color as color of choice indicating transparent regions in the sprites of old games. However, it is related. I choose this color to indicate pixels where the algorithm can go through the entire height of your calculated cell and never cross an iso-surface with the electron density given in the constant charge density level box. In a sense, the system is transparent in those points, as you can see through the entire unit cell in those points. Try performing an STM simulation on the density of a molecule in vacuum. You will see the vacuum region is drawn entirely in fuchsia. If you are looking at a material/surface that should not have holes in it, then you may have chosen a constant charge density level which is too high (or a tip-position too close to the surface).

If you are wondering why I used this “ugly” color, then you know the answer. As you will not use this color, it is a pretty safe option, which will not interfere with other color-schemes.


Q: Is there a virus/worm/trojan build into HIVE?

No, I’m not that good a programmer. 😉

So, why do some AVs give this warning? The origin is rather simple, an AV searches for code which resembles code used in viruses/worms/trojans. Unfortunately as time goes by, more of these nasty things have been written and detected, and so the database of possible clues grows. As a result, chances of having similar code in non-virus programs becomes increasingly more possible. (It is a bit like taking 1 sentence :”he went back home to his wife”, and searching for all books containing this sentence and stating they are copies of your own work.) In case of Delphi, apparently many virus have been written with this language giving rise to many Delphi programmers being plagued with false positives. Googling Delphi+antivirus+false positive will give you a wealth of hits on the subject (including the possibility that my compiler got infected, but that has been checked, and is OK). The cleanest solution would be to rewrite the entire program in a different language (e.g. Fortran with a graphical user interface). If anyone is willing to fund me for this job, feel free to contact me :-), but until this happens I unfortunately do not have the required spare time for such a large task.

If you encounter any security issues please report them to me through email telling me:

  • which antivirus program was used
  • which warning/error was given & action of the antivirus program
  • your solution (if you solved the problem)
Q: My Antivirus-browser-plugin blocks the download of the program.

Upon trying to download the program from the server I receive following warning/error (or something of this type):

“Gateway Anti-Virus Alert: This request is blocked by the Firewall Gateway Anti-Virus Service. Name: (Cloud Id: xxxxx) Agent.FL (Trojan)”

If you can override/ignore the error/warning please do so. If not, please contact me by email, and I’ll send you the zipfile.

Q: My Antivirus program claims HIVE to contain a Trojan/Trojan-downloader

Upon unzipping the program or trying to run the program the Antivirus blocks (and deletes) the program stating it contains a (generic) Trojan or Trojan downloader.


  • If your AV has a white-list-option, put HIVE on the white-list
  • Run HIVE in a sandbox environment
  • (get another AV 😉 )

Known Anti-virus programs giving this false positive:

  • Kaspersky                  (->Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Adload.hcnf & deletes the program)
  • McAfee
  • Symantec/Norton AV  (-> detects virus + deletes, check the last post here for help)
  • Mac Sophos antivirus (-> Mal/Generic-S worm)