Category: Other Lab Issues

New Remote Teaching and Research Capabilities

Over the past year, several ACMAL labs have been equipped with new software and cameras for improved remote teaching and research! These new remote capabilities allow for live/recorded demonstrations to be shared with large classes or for research clients and to view live data collection.

Below are descriptions of these instruments and laboratories affected:

FEI 200kV Titan Themis Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM)

The STEM is Michigan Tech’s newest electron microscope addition that has atomic resolution imaging capabilities. The instrument has the following capabilities and modes: conventional TEM mode, scanning TEM mode, electron energy loss spectroscopy, energy filter TEM, high angle annular dark field, ChemiSTEM, Super-X Energy Dispersive X-Ray, and nanometer scale tomography. 

New remote capabilities include:

  • Zoom screen-share from both the TEM laboratory web camera and instrument control monitors
  • Huskycast (Panopto) recording of lab space, TEM lab camera, and instrument control monitors

Learn more about the STEM: ACMAL – FEI 200kV Titan Themis STEM

Contact Elizabeth Miller (eafraki@mtu.edu) for more information.

FEI Philips XL 40 Environmental Scanning Microscope (ESEM)

The ESEM can be used to image a wide range of material types at a microscale including hydrated, contaminated, organic, or inorganic samples. This microscope itself has several modes and features that make it a flexible instrument for any research needs: SE/BSE imaging, thin window EDAX EDS, electron backscatter diffraction, high and low vacuum modes, and hot or cold stage options.

New remote capabilities include:

  • New laboratory web camera
  • Zoom screen-share abilities from both the microscope control and AzTEC analysis computers
  • Remote technical assistance with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP
  • Remote operation with Raritan DKX4-101 KVM-over-IP

Learn more about the ESEM: ACMAL – FEI Philips XL 40 ESEM

Contact Elizabeth Miller (eafraki@mtu.edu) for more information.

X-Ray Facilities: Scintag XDS2000 Powder Diffractometer and Scintag XDS-2000 PTS

ACMAL’s X-ray facilities (XRF) has instruments capable of performing x-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses on both powder and solid samples. Sample data such as present phases, lattice parameter, percent crystallinity, and texture analysis can all be found using MTU’s Scintag XDS2000 Powder Diffractometer and Scintag XDS-2000 PTS XRD instruments. These instruments have the following features to expand the types of samples that can be analyzed: zero background sample holder, custom powder sample holders, custom irregular shaped solid holder, custom liquid holder, ICDD-JCPDS database, and Anton-Paar high temperature stage.

New remote capabilities include:

  • New cameras installed in both the instrument lab and sample preparation lab.
  • Huskycast (Panopto) recording for both cameras and lab computer monitors.
  • Zoom sharing available in both labs and computer monitors.

Learn more about X-ray facilities: ACMAL – X-Ray Facilities

Contact Dr. Edward Laitila (ealaitil@mtu.edu) for more information.


ACMAL: Update to Reservation Limit

Please note that the ACMAL reservation limit for the Origin+ Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) has been extended from 4 hours to 6 hours during normal business hours. The updated policy can be found on the reservations page of our website.

Trained users may reserve instruments during normal business hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday. Reservations outside of normal business hours require special permission.

During working hours, do not exceed a four hour reseservation on instruments except the Origin+ Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). AFM reservations should not exceed 6 hours. Longer reservations are available with permission.

If you have any questions please let me know.


ACMAL Cleanliness Policy and COVID-19 SOP

Please review ACMAL’s policy on cleanliness and our COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Below is a brief summary of the key points as well as links to the complete policy and SOP.

ACMAL Cleanliness Policy

  • Lab Configuration
    • Do NOT change the computer settings.
      • It is crucial for other users to find the instruments with the default settings.
    • Before exiting the lab after use, return any tools to their default location, and dispose of waste materials.
  • Personal Items
    • Remember to save your data on a personal storage device.
    • This is a shared facility, ACMAL is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee, the safekeeping of your personal items, specimens, or data.
  • Food and Drink
    • Do not bring food or drink in the microscopy labs.

ACMAL COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure

  • Maximum of 2 people in the lab at a time.
  • You must bring a mask to the lab with you each time you come to work.
  • Be timely.
    • To minimize the chance of being unable to maintain social distances do NOT come early for your session to give the previous user time to vacate the lab.
    • Finish on time for your session. If you need additional time on the microscope, please update your calendar reservation.

If you have any questions please email me.


All reservations cancelled

As a result of Dr. Koubek’s email to campus regarding the Governor’s executive order, I am cancelling all use reservations in the calendar this afternoon.  We will be ready to begin again after we return from the stay at home 3 weeks from now.


ACMAL response to Covid-19 hiatus

ACMAL lab managers are working within the group, with other Shared Facility directors and the VPR office to formulate lab procedures to be used during this period. You can expect to receive those plans by weeks end. Please feel free to email me any ideas you may have relative to using a facility shared with other faculty and graduate students.

Updated March 13, 2020.

The ACMAL facility will be open during the one month hiatus.

Information for use of the facility during that time is included in this message.

Our overall message to you is please think ahead. If you know you will need help arrange that ahead of time.

Nearly no remote operation.

Most of the ACMAL equipment/software is not compatible with remote operation or remote data analysis. In nearly all cases you will need to come to the facility to work. An exception is two XRD software programs. Ed Laitila can help you access them ealaitil@mtu.edu .

Calendar system.

Use the calendar reservation system to book equipment time. XPS sessions can be scheduled by contacting Tim Leftwich trleftwi@mtu.edu. Avoid bringing multiple people to the lab with you. Work independently as much as possible. Special conditions apply for campus visitors who come to the labs.

Training.

ACMAL staff will do our best to accommodate training during the hiatus period, but it may not be available right away. Again, plan ahead.

Handling ACMAL equipment.

Please wear gloves for all instrument use. ACMAL staff will be cleaning door knobs, sample holders, keyboards and mice, and knob set controls each day. You can cleanse surfaces yourself if you’d like with wipes that will be available next week.

Sickness.

Do not come to the labs sick. Please refer to the University information regarding self-identifying illness and self-isolation. If ACMAL staff are exposed to COVID-19 or infected, a unit in the facility may have to be closed.

Fluid situation.

It is important to note that this situation is changing daily and you should expect adjustments to current policies and procedures. I will send you updates as necessary.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Contact me if you need help. My phone number is 906-369-1875. I don’t use text very much so call me.


Job Opening for Director of ACMAL

Director Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory

Position is Closed

Apply now

Job No: 20043
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Work Type: Staff Full-time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Management, Sciences

Michigan Tech seeks a director of its Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL). ACMAL is an interdisciplinary, university shared user facility that manages a suite of high-end structural characterization facilities including SEM (3 units), STEM (FEI Titan Themis), FIB, XPS, AFM, XRD, XRF, and associated sample preparation facilities. The director manages the access and operational procedures, coordinates maintenance, oversees the personnel needs of the facility, interfaces with the campus-wide user community, coordinates user training, and leads or participates in efforts to expand capabilities and use. The Director will have a staff appointment in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, who manages the facility in behalf of the university.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in the operation of electron-based imaging and analytical techniques in a research environment, be familiar with shared user-oriented facility model, demonstrated managerial skills, and a positive attitude compatible with providing efficient and high quality service to the university research community. A degree in the physical sciences, or engineering, or applied technology discipline is preferred.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

View the Job Description


Annual Steam Shutdown and Power Outage

The annual steam shutdown will take place during the week following spring commencement—Sunday, May 3 – Friday, May 8 (weather permitting). This outage is required to provide maintenance and service of the boilers and steam distribution system on campus. This planned maintenance improves the reliability of our system and reduces the likelihood of an unplanned failure during the winter heating season.

There will not be heat or hot water in the affected buildings during the steam shutdown. There will be no distilled water available from the steam-driven stills. Steam-driven autoclaves/sterilizers will not be operational. 

The buildings affected will include:

  • Administration Building
  • ROTC Building
  • Academic Offices Building
  • Annex Building
  • Electrical Energy Resources
  • DOW Envir Sciences & Eng Bldg
  • Rozsa Performing Arts & Educ
  • Walker – Arts & Humanities
  • Minerals & Materials Engr Bldg
  • Grover C. Dillman Hall
  • Fisher Hall
  • J.R. Van Pelt Library
  • U.J. Noblet Forestry Building
  • Chemical Sciences & Engr Building
  • R.L. Smith (MEEM) Building
  • Student Development Complex
  • Kanwal and Ann Rekhi Hall
  • Douglass Houghton Hall
  • Memorial Union Building
  • Wadsworth Hall
  • McNair Hall
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Facilities Management
  • Hillside Place
  • Great Lakes Research Center

Facilities Management has developed a five-year rotating plan to service the 12,470-volt switchgear and associated breakers on campus. Our campus electrical distribution system depends on this gear being in good working condition. This work requires a two-night power outage that affects the least number of buildings possible. Please note that in most cases elevators, fume hoods, exhaust fans, ventilation equipment, normal lighting, plug-in appliances, and plug-in equipment will not operate during the outage.

Only items connected to the building emergency generator will have power during the outage; the building emergency generators and battery systems that supply power to emergency/egress lighting and special equipment should function as normal. If you are unsure if your equipment connects to the building emergency generator, please contact the Facilities Management Building Mechanic for your building.

Information Technology will turn off all network equipment in the affected buildings for these outages starting at 5 p.m. You should plan to save any work and shut down your computer systems and exit buildings before the outages. Additionally, some buildings with power will be without phone or internet service. Only the buildings listed will have their power shut off during the scheduled outages.

There will be two power outages.

Power Outage One: Begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 until 6 a.m. Thursday, May 7.

Power Outage Two: Begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7 until 6 a.m. Friday, May 8.

Building affected will include:

  • Rekhi
  • Dillman
  • Fisher
  • Hamar House / CDI
  • Forestry
  • M&M 
  • ME-EM
  • ROTC
  • Academic Office Building
  • Alumni House
  • Annex

Buildings with power but no phone or internet:

  • Gates Tennis Center
  • Little Huskies
  • US Forest Service Labs
  • EMS/SLS Garage

You can find more details and updates on the Facilities Management website. If there are questions or concerns with this plan, contact Energy Management or Facilities Management at 7-2303.

By Energy Management and Facilities Management.