July 19, 2024 UMD Home NanoCenter FabLab


Rules Apply to All Persons Using the AIMLab Facilities

    1. Prior to use of the Center, permission must be obtained from both the Lab Director and the project director whose account is being used. Application forms are available from the Director's office or on-line. Upon authorization of an application by the Lab Director, the applicant's name will be included in the Center's Users' list for correspondence and invoicing.
    2. No access/usage of any facility is allowed without having completed the steps in the NanoCenter User Sign Up Form. Please see the Become a User page for details.
    3. Use of the Facility is a privilege, and privileges can be suspended if a user is repeatedly guilty of not following rules and instructions or is found to have mistreated an instrument.
    4. EVERYONE who wishes to use an instrument must be trained by Facility staff. NO second-hand training is allowed without the permission of Lab Director.
    5. ALL problems should be reported to Lab staff or the Director immediately. Direct all questions to either Lab personnel or the Director.
    6. Users must inform the office of the Lab Director if there is a change in project account (FRS) number.
    7. Record all sign-in and sign-out times in military time (a continuous 24 hour system, e.g., from 0930 to 1500 instead of 9:30am to 3:00pm).
    8. Users of the facility are required to help in the maintenance of the facility if so requested by the facility personnel.
    1. All standard safely rules for chemical and electrical laboratories must be observed at all times.
    2. No smoking and no food is permitted in the laboratory. The laboratory must be kept clean at all times.
    1. Equipment and Accessories
      1. Sign usage (on log-in/out sheet) form before and after use.
      2. Turn everything OFF after use (including room light).
      3. Clean all instrumentation as instructed.
      4. Return anything that was moved back to its proper place (including furniture).
      5. Equipment to be borrowed must be requested in writing and signed by the project director or advisor. After permission is obtained from the Director or Electron Microscopist in charge, sign out equipment or lab-wares to be borrowed.
    2. Working Areas
      1. All work areas are to be left in clean and neat condition at the end of the work period. A cleaning fee will be charged if the user left the work areas not in clean/neat (or any unacceptable) condition.
      2. All procedures/preparations yielding fumes and gases must be performed under hoods.
      3. All persons are responsible for their own samples and specimens. These are to be properly stored and must not be left in work areas for extended periods. Such items will be discarded if left unsecured.
    3. Microscope Rooms
      1. Persons desiring to use an electron microscope must obtain the assignment of a microscope after approval, first by the faculty advisor, and then by the Lab/Center Director. Users are generally classified by proficiency into one of the groups described below, and assigned to one microscope. The TEM assignment sheet is posted on the entrance door to the Lab.
        • Class A. These users are expert operators of an electron microscope and can also handle many service problems. They also have agreed to provide service in maintaining the electron microscopes. They may ask for a key to the Lab and may operate the assigned microscope at any time.
        • Class B. These users are recommended to operate an electron microscope during the regular working hours so that the Electron Microscopist in Charge or Lab personnel is available for assistance whenever needed. (Working hours are 8:30am to 6:00pm, Monday through Friday). When a need arises to operate a microscope during off-hours, advanced B users can ask for a specified time or consult with the Lab Director.
        • Class C. These users must have supervision from the Electron Microscopist in Charge at all times when they use an electron microscope. Thus, the user must also verify the availability of the Microscopist when they plan to make a reservation for the microscope.
      2. For usage of the assigned microscope, make the reservation (on-line) well in advance.
      3. Any qualified person may reserve up to 8 hours on each electron microscope on or before Friday for the following week, and s/he may sign up for more (unlimited) hours on or after Monday noon (for that particular week).
      4. The person who made reservations must begin use of the facility within 15 minutes of the reserved time or else the space may be used by another person.
      5. The user may also be charged for their usage time if cancellations are not made 24 hours in advance.
      6. Before the user logs in on the instrumentation computer or turns on the microscope, s/he must sign in the Log Book for the equipment. Upon finishing, record the time, the filament time, and other requested items.
      7. Exposed plates must not be left in the receiver box after the usage period.
      8. If the user notices any TEM/SEM malfunctions or other troubles, he/she must record this information in the Microscope Log Book, with the date and his/her name. At the same time, inform the Electron Microscopist in Charge or the Lab Director.
      9. No smoking, no food and no drinks in the microscope room.
      10. Clean up the work area before leaving the microscope room.
    4. Dark Room
      1. Ask the Electron Microscopist in Charge or Lab Director for permission for use of any equipment in the dark room.
      2. No chemicals are to be mixed in the dark room.
      3. Benches and equipment are to be left in clean condition.
      4. All plate developing is to be finished at one time. If there is not sufficient time to finish drying and plates must be removed from the dark room, then store plates in light tight boxes until time is available.
    1. Key (Card) Holders may use the Facility at any time. To become a key holder, he/she must demonstrate proficiency in operating the instrument and the need for frequent usage.
    2. A temporary key may be obtained from the office of the Director for a specified time if justified. The temporary key may be kept in one's possession for a maximum of 48 hours only (72 hours for the weekends).
    3. Key Holders (both permanent and temporary) are not allowed to let others into the Facility. If this is required for specific work, prior permission must be obtained from the Director.
    1. All AIMLab users have a responsibility to provide explicit acknowledgement in publications and presentations. Instruction for acknowledgements is listed on the first page of NanoCenter home page (upper right).
    2. Upon publication (any form of publication including journal articles, proceeding, poster and oral presentation) whether local, national or international, the title of the paper/presentation, name of authors, name of the publisher and name of the funding agency need to be submitted to the office of AIMLab Director.

The AIMLab caters to many users, obeying the rules is paramount. Any violation of the Center/Facility rules or abuse of the Facility equipment may result in the termination of Lab usage privileges.

Colleges A. James Clark School of Engineering
The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

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