Category: Other Lab Issues

Building, hallway, or multi-lab issues.

ACMAL Lab Cleanliness Reminder [Action Required]

ACMAL staff have noticed many unlabeled samples being left in the labs and sample prep areas. Our stated policy is “When exiting the lab, be sure that all personal items are removed, any specimens are removed or disposed of..” However, we do allow some samples to be stored for a short period of time. Those samples should be properly labeled with your name, email address, and date. Any unlabeled samples will be thrown away.

Please take a minute to review ACMAL’s cleanliness policy. These are shared labs and it is important that we work together to create a clean and safe environment for all facility users.

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)

ACMAL 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)

ACMAL 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

XRD Powder

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.

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.