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In order to use the equipment in the MCF, users must be checked out on the instrument they wish to use. Please contact the MCF staff listed on each instrument’s page to schedule training.

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Prep Lab Training

Training is available for sample polishing, epoxy disk preparation, and carbon coating upon request. Contact Dr. Andrew Mott –

XPS Training

Introduction to the physics of XPS, vacuum operation and safety, obtaining spectra, individual element detection on conductive samples, off-line data processing.  Additional training per request for more advanced techniques (XPS imaging and elemental mapping, charge neutralization for insulating samples, angle-resolved XPS, small spot spectroscopy, automatic instrument operation).

AFM/STM Training

Basic operation of scanning probe microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and/or scanning tunneling microscopy (STM).  Additional training per request for more advanced techniques.

Nanoindenter training

Introduction to nanoindentation, basic instrument operation, simple indentation, automated indentation patterns/methods, basic data analysis, SPM imaging of indentations, indenter tip removal/installation.

Dip Pen Nanolithography

Training varies according to user’s needs.

Ellipsometer Training

Introduction to ellipsometry, instrument configuration, laser safety precautions, mounting samples, aligning lasers, data acquisition, basic optical modeling techniques.

Spectrofluorometer Training

Introduction to fluorescence, instrument configuration, basic start up/shut down procedure, steady state spectrum acquisition.  Lifetime and quantum yield training per request.

UV-Vis-NIR Spectrophotometer Training

Instrument configuration, basic start up/ shut down procedure, wavelength spectrum acquisition for solid or liquid stage (per user’s request), changing sample holder/detectors.  Measurement on powder samples requires an additional training session.

Raman Training

Introduction to Raman, instrument configuration, start up/shut down procedures, laser safety precautions, basic raman spectrum acquisition procedure, calibration procedure, switching lasers.  Additional training per request for Raman imaging.

Confocal Training

Basic introduction to the microscope, startup/shutdown procedures, fluorescence using the mercury lamp, and basic operation of the confocal software (beam settings, image optimization, and Z-stack acquisition). Additional training per request for advanced techniques such as FRET and FRAP.

FE-SEM Training

The training for SEM will be divided into two categories – basic and advanced training. The basic training will allow users to operate the SEM to generate images which will require 2 or 3 sessions depending on prior SEM experience of users. If users wish to use the Energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), they will be required to take the advanced training once they have shown proficiency in the basic usage of the SEM. Users should always discuss their samples with staff before they begin training so that they can prepare their samples appropriately.

Download FE-SEM Training Policies

Electron Microprobe Training

Training for the electron microprobe is intensive and takes place while running user samples. Assistance by the microprobe technician is typically required by users and does not cost an additional training fee on top of instrument time. Users that require minimal assistance and can run samples individually on nights and weekends have typically had at a minimum of three full days of instrument use/training.