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Instrument usage policy

1) Users need to reserve an instrument in advance. Users may cancel their sessions 24 hours before their session starts. Users may not cancel their session within 24 hours of their reservation. If users do need to cancel their sessions within 24hrs, they must contact IMRI staff and there will be a no-show charge at the half rate.  At the beginning of a session,  please check instrument status on the log book and make sure that the instrument is in good working condition. At beginning of your session, users need to sign up on the logbook with a valid account number (KFS for UCI users) or company name (company users) and activate the control system (Login at  the link  and enable your reserved instrument by clicking the control machine and then enable).  

2) Users need to finish their sessions within their reserved time and properly log off  or sign off . It is not allowed to leave samples in the instrument when the instrument is not used. Violating this rule may results in large bill or destroy of the sample.  

3) Magnetic materials could cause problems ( contaminating column) to our electron microscope. Magnetic powers are especially dangerous. Users need special permission and training from IMRI staff before loading them into electron microscopes (SEMs and TEMs). IMRI staff may examine the sample in advance and refuse the use of some magnetic samples in the EMs.

4) User must follow SOPs and staff instructions to use the instrument. Report major instrument problem/damage to IMRI staff immediately by email or phone. For minor issues which could be corrected by users, users may leave a short comment in log book. Users and their PIs are responsible for the repair of the instrument when they cause the damage to the instrument. 

5) Users should respect each other. If their is any issue between users, they should report to IMRI staff and solve the issue with help of IMRI staff. 

6) After using the instrumet, users need to leave it in a good condition and make the area tidy and clean. 

7) Users should save their data in the assigned space/disk and transfer their data to their storage space when finishing their experiments. USB drivers and users' hard drivers are not allowed to connect to any facility instruments. IMRI is not responsible for users' data safety.

8) Users are not allowed to use instrument computers to check their emails and connect to outside websites without permission of IMRI staff.

9) Users can only use their own account to get access to the instrument. It is forbidden to use other people accounts or let other users to use your accounts.


Special policies for some instruments:

Magellan SEM:

1) Magellan users may reserve the instrument three weeks in advance. Any reservation reserved more than 3 weeks in advance is not allowed and may be deleted without notice.
2) If you are not going to use all reserved time, you should sign up in the form at . When your unused time is used by another user, the charge for the unused time may be exempted. If you are waiting to use the SEM, please check this form from time to time. You can get the open time when you sign up first .
3) If you neither show up during your reserved time and nor sign up in the Google doc , you will be charged at the full rate. This is a modification to the billing & rates section on LEXI website.
4) The maximum reservation time for day time (9am-5pm) of one week (starting from the 3rd day) is 5hrs for one user.
5) The maximum reservation time for one week (starting from the 3rd day) is 8hrs for one person.
6) Users can reserve as much time as they like within 48 hrs which start from the time when the user places the reservation.
7) Users are not allowed to change the reservation history and delete/revise any reservation within 24hrs of the reserved time. Users’ account will be downgraded or disabled when there is any violation to these reservation rules.

FEI Quanta 3D:

1) Please write down your full name and instrument function you use in the reservation calendar.
2) CaSTL groups have priority to reserve Wed (9am-5pm), but if Wed time slots are still open on Tuesday, other users may reserve them.
3) Reservations should be not more than 2 weeks in advance. Each user is limited to reserve 3hrs per day and 6hrs per week during normal working time (9am-5pm). 4) Skillful users are encouraged to reserve off-peak time (8pm-8am) and weekends at a reduced rate. You may apply to get access to the instrument 24 hrs a day after using it for more than 10hrs.
5) Users may cancel their sessions 24hrs in advance free of charge. Users should not cancel any sessions within 24 hrs of their reservations. If users want to cancel these reserved sessions, they should email Dr. Zheng and may be charged at a half rate. Otherwise, full rate will be applied.
6) Users should never change the reservation records. Any violation may make their accounts disabled.

7) Please sign up on the waiting list ( Basic SEM training is required before getting training for FIB, EDS, EBSD, vCD, ESEM, TEM/FIB sample preparation. First come, first served.
8) The standby status of FIB is set at sleep. You need to press wake-up button to get the ion beam. It may take a few minutes to see that beam-on button is yellow. After using the FIB, please press sleep button to put it on sleep. The liquid ion source is very expensive, the new rule enables us to monitor the real use of the ion source and save it.

Amstrong evaporator:

Automated Processing Process automation makes the Angstrom evaporator an exceptionally powerful tool. However, this added feature can make problems affecting your film or the instrument more likely. To mitigate these risks: - Double-check new processes to ensure appropriate parameters have been defined (including using the correct film material in the Inficon 'Films' menu). - Ensure that your Inficon 'films' have a maximum power setting no higher than 50%. Higher powers can potentially damage the instrument. - Monitor your deposition parameters closely to ensure they are behaving as expected. Ti films IMRI does not plan to maintain a Ti crucible for all users to share. Users will instead be responsible for purchasing their own (FABMATE) crucible and Ti pellets or coordinating with another lab group. This should be reasonably economical given that most users seem to need Ti only in < 5 nm adhesion layers. If you are waiting for your purchased Ti materials to arrive, please continue using the existing Ti source for your adhesion layers so that your research is not impeded. Digital logbook Thank you for making an entry in the Google spreadsheet digital 'logbook' every time you deposit a film. Should you ever need to edit or review it, you can access it here: Usage logging Please continue to book and activate the machine using the IMRI booking system. Users should also make redundant entries in the paper usage log book next to the instrument while the billing systems transition.

TIPS Precious metals (e-beam) There has been good success using e-beam deposition for Au and Pd. FABMATE crucibles with thicker side walls have been effective in reducing the capacity (3.9 vs. 8.2 cc) and initial mass/cost of the source material. Kurt J. Lesker sells these (FABMATE EVCFABEB-13M) for $ 106.20/ea (with a 10% academic discount). Precious metals (thermal) Thermal evaporation is an even more economical way of depositing some of these materials. A few Au pellets loaded into an open tungsten boat produced smooth depositions of Au films < 100 nm thick. Angstrom Engineering sells tungsten S3 style open boats for $ 12.25 but they are available though other suppliers too. Al films (e-beam) For several reasons this is a frustrating material to deposit. Please contact one of the superusers for tips before attempting this deposition on the Angstrom evaporator. Training waiting list For your reference, this is available at

Now that the sweep functioning has been repaired, e-beam energy may be distributed over larger surface areas than before. In order to achieve your desired deposition rate, you may find larger e-beam powers will be required than before to obtain the required source material heating. Please continue to monitor your deposition parameters closely during your processes and record them in the digital logbook. Increase maximum e-beam power limits slightly if required (but still not beyond 50%). Do not make any other instrument modifications without advance permission.


Simpleware software:

1) to get access to the software, you need to sign up here and inform Dr. Zheng
2) At one time, only one user can use the sofware. Users must reserve the softwrae time before using it.