Category: Status

All equipment status updates.

ACMAL Billing System Update

Dear ACMAL Users,

I hope this message finds you well. We wanted to inform you of an upcoming change regarding the billing and usage tracking system for all ACMAL instruments. Starting from July 1st, we will be transitioning to a new system called FOM (Facility Online Management) for managing these aspects.

To access the new FOM system, you can log in online at with your SSO credentials. Please note that to log in, you must be connected to the MTU internet network. Alternatively, you can utilize the Big Edge IP client to access the system from home. Please refer to the user guide below for more information.

FOM Internal User Guide Draft 3

We understand that transitions like this may raise questions or require some adjustments. To assist you with this transition, we will be hosting information sessions June 26th and 27th. These sessions will provide an overview of the new system, address any concerns you may have, and offer guidance on navigating the transition smoothly.

  • Session 1 – Wednesday June 26th, 1-2pm in M&M 610 or via Zoom
  • Session 2 – Thursday June 27th, 11am – noon in M&M 610 or via Zoom

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Hitachi FESEM – Maintenance done – good practice

Hi FESEM users,

The Hitachi service engineer did the year’s maintenance on the FESEM this past Monday and Tuesday 5/20 and 5/21.

1) He fixed the spring on the stage where we slid the specimen mount in. It was loose and that was causing some vibration. We should not see less jiggling images at higher magnification.

2) He did the full column alignment. From now on, use the software only when you do the alignments. Do not change the physical knobs of the apertures.

3) The beam monitor aperture is set at position 2, and should be kept at 2 !!!

4) If you ever need to change the objective aperture, only use the knob to switch between apertures 1, 3, or 4. Do not use aperture 2.

Objective aperture sizes: 1 > 3 = 2 > 4

Attn.: Objective apertures 2 and 3 have the same size. We exchange them annually when one or the other gets dirty. This year we are using 3.

Remember: Home stage position is: X=Y=Z=12.5 mm, Tilt = 0, Rotation = 0

Please, let me know if you still experience any problems.

Erico Freitas

Medical Leave Notification: April 25th to June 6th

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to inform you that I will be on medical leave from April 25th through June 6th, 2024.

During this period, if you encounter any issues or have any questions, please reach out to the following contacts:

  • For X-ray Facility questions, please contact Dr. Ed Laitila at 906-369-2041 or email
  • For Electron Optics Facility questions or sample preparation, please contact Dr. Erico Freitas at 906-299-2714 or email, or Isabella Jaszczak at 734-250-1624 or email
  • For Scanning Probe Microscopy (AFM) & Surface Analysis (XPS) Facilities questions, please reach out to Dr. Timothy Leftwich at
  • For Confocal Imaging Facility questions, please contact Dr. Marina Tanasova at 906-487-1163 or email (Cell Culture Lab & Flow Cytometer & Confocal).

In case of an emergency, call public safety by dialing 911.

These individuals, as experts in their respective areas, will be able to assist you promptly. However, please note that for general inquiries or matters not specific to a particular area, it is best to contact me upon my return.

Training and analysis requests can be completed online using our Google form

I have complete confidence in the ACMAL team’s abilities to handle any issues that may arise during my absence. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. I will be sure to get back to you promptly upon my return on June 6th.

Wishing you all continued success with your research.

Attn: Sputter Coater User

The target on the sputter coater has worn out. A new target has been ordered and is expected within 6-10 business days. The target has temporarily been changed to Iridium.

There are special directions for using the Ir target (see detailed instructions below).

Target density: 22.42
Current: 20mA
Coating thickness: 1-3nm

Your two other options are:

1) We have a Cr target. However, in the past that has resulted in charging.

2) As soon as next week, you can start to schedule time with our staff on the Apreo2. Uncoated samples can be imaged using variable pressure mode. VP mode utilizes a gas in the sample chamber as a charge dissipation and signal amplification method, allowing analysis of a sample without preparation in the form of a conductive coating.