Users are individuals who are trained by Center staff and whose usage of lab equipment is charged on a valid U-M shortcode approved by the user’s supervisor or a registered external payment method. Only individuals who meet these criteria are allowed to use instruments in (MC)2; non-users may observe but are not allowed to touch or interact with the instruments at any time.

The user acknowledges that prior to use of any instruments they have:

  • Completed basic laboratory safety training. Safety training is the user’s responsibility. The specific requirement is the MyLINC course BLS025w: Chemical Lab Safety.
  • Understood the safety requirements stated by the University of Michigan and (MC)2.
  • Read and understood the user handbook(s) for the instruments to be used in (MC)2. This will be discussed during the user’s initial training session.

Rules of Conduct

The user agrees:

  • To follow the facility’s standard operating procedures, including use of PPE.
  • To follow the instructions of Center staff.
  • To report any violations of the rules, guidelines, or verbal instructions.
  • To abide by measures to assure that the facility remains secure. This includes reporting suspicious activity, not letting unauthorized users into the center, not leaving doors open or unlocked, and avoiding areas not intended for users.
  • To not bring food or drinks into the main center area or any instrument or sample preparation room.

In addition, the user also agrees to follow all rules of operation and termination set by the Center.


  • Rates are posted on the center’s website (mc2.engin.umich.edu/lab-use/rates/). These rates are subject to change annually.
  • The time and materials consumed in using instruments will be charged to the user.
  • Usage may be considered either the difference between log-in and log-out times, or the longer of the used or reserved time (specifically for the PFIB, Helios, Nova, and Talos instruments). If you are unsure which case applies, please contact staff before use.
  • Faculty working on projects for commercial (for-profit) entities, either in collaboration or as consultants, are required to pay the commercial rate for instrument time for all hours of use, unless the funds supporting this work (including salaries) are awarded to U-M through the Sponsored Programs Office at full indirect cost rates. If this work is carried out by Center staff, an hourly service work rate will apply in addition to the instrument rate. 
  • An additional 2.7% fee applies for payments by credit card.

Guidelines for Publications and Acknowledgments

  • Publications, presentations, and posters resulting from work on the Thermo Fisher Nova 200 Nanolab may state: “The authors acknowledge the financial support of the University of Michigan College of Engineering and NSF grant #DMR-0320740, and technical support from the Michigan Center for Materials Characterization.
  • For the JEOL 2010FNSF grant #DMR-9871177
  • For the JEOL 2100F: NSF grant #DMR-0723032
  • For the JEOL 3100R05NSF grant #DMR-0723032
  • For the Kratos Axis Ultra XPSNSF grant #DMR-0420785
  • For the TESCAN RISE: NSF grant #DMR-1625671
  • All other publications including results obtained at (MC)2 may state “The authors acknowledge the University of Michigan College of Engineering for financial support and the Michigan Center for Materials Characterization for use of the instruments and staff assistance.” 
  • Authorship or acknowledgments of specific (MC)staff members may be considered and discussed with the appropriate staff member. 

Instrument Use

  • Follow all training, safety, and booking policies.
  • Use an instrument only after proper training and approval by Center staff.
  • Do  not change the alignment of any of the (MC)instruments beyond that shown during training.
  • Do not attempt to mechanically modify any stage or holder parts without explicit staff approval.
  • After any session on any instrument, log off and follow all required steps shown during training.
  • After a session reset the instruments to the default settings as shown during training.
  • Clean up after each session, both in the specimen preparation rooms and in the microscope rooms. Razor blades, Kimwipes, rubber gloves, carbon sticky tabs, etc. should be placed in the recycling or trash receptacles provided. Currently additional sanitization following each individual user session is required as a Covid-19 precaution. Please sanitize high-touch surfaces in the room as directed in the cleaning form that is linked upon FOM logoff and complete the cleaning log.
  • Any glassware in the specimen preparation room is to be washed out, dried, and returned to the storage cupboard.
  • Samples left in any room may be discarded by center staff.
  • (MC)does not permit the presence, use, or storage of hydrofluoric acid.
  • DO NOT CHANGE THE PRESSURE SETTINGS ON THE ARGON GAS CYLINDER of the carbon coater or sputter coater. Merely open and close the main valve.
  • If you use the last of any item or the last-but-one of any item, or it looks like stock is running low, please replace the item or write it on the white board. 

Instrument Failure

  • If there is an instrument failure or you suspect an issue with a component (even if unsure), or when equipment responds to use in any unfamiliar or unexpected manner, including sample contamination, misalignment, an unresponsive computer, or low signal-to-noise ratio:
    • Cease using the instrument. Log off the session and email the instrument manager (through FOM) with a description of the exact nature of the problem.
    • Contact a staff member for help immediately.
    • Do NOT attempt to dismantle and repair any instrument. Dismantling instruments in (MC)could lead to a life-threatening situation. (MC)2 equipment frequently has high voltages inside and X-ray shielding which, if removed, may expose users to X-rays.
  • Failure to follow these procedures may lead to revocation of facility access.
  • Research supervisors are responsible for 50% of the cost of any instrumentation repair required due to user negligence. 

Booking Rules

  • If unable to use booked time, sessions may be cancelled in advance without charge through FOM four or more hours ahead of the scheduled start time. Late cancellations after this point incur a minimum charge equal to one hour of usage. A “no-show” or failure to show up for booked time without cancellation will result in the user account being charged for the full reserved time.
  • If a user does not show up for their reserved time, after a fifteen minute grace period, any other qualified user may claim the time-slot.
  • Do not book more than one four-hour daytime slot (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) in any given week unless that week has already begun. If longer time slots are needed, it is preferable to book an afternoon and then run into the evening or come in very early and run into the morning. For exceptions where more time is required, contact the center manager. 

Computer Use

  • At the end of a session, users are required to close all images, patterns, and other files and clean the computer desktop. 
  • Users are not allowed to use flash drives or any personal devices on any equipment in the Center.
  • A file server is available for temporary data storage. Your data should be stored in the folder labeled with your uniqname. If your data is stored anywhere else be aware it may be deleted at any time. Be sure to back up your data regularly and delete your old data from the server periodically. 
  • Users should not attempt to use any of the (MC)data acquisition computers for web browsing or email.
  • Users should not attempt to install software on any (MC)2 computers.  (MC)2 computers have software installed to help with data acquisition and analysis; they are not to be used for games, movies, mp3s, or other non-standard software.

Remedial Response, Revocation, and Termination

  • Negligence and/or violation of any the above rules will lead to the immediate temporary or permanent revocation of user privileges and access to the Center.
  • Instrumentation damage due to user negligence will be billed to the user’s account for up to 50% of the repair cost.