New User Procedure

1. Initial Project Consulting

If technical help or training may be required to carry out a project, first make an appointment with the Center staff to discuss the project and equipment that will be used. This will allow us to aid in experimental design, make suggestions for streamlining and possibly saving time and money. Bring in published articles that utilize the same or similar protocols for the experiment being attempted.

A project information sheet will be generated for recordkeeping purposes.

2. Training

On-site instruction and training is available to most individuals who would like to utilize the facility for their research, since we want to broad access and hands-on usage. Faculty receive intensive training for free, and students may come along to observe. Students are generally expected to take one of our courses for credit to become independent users. In order to access the instruments, potential users should schedule training with the Technical Manager at 494-7976 and be certified according to the independent user requirements and privileges.

3. Coursework

Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students needing the services of the facility in their research projects are encouraged to take the applicable courses on TEM or SEM/EDX. Seating is limited, so sign up early! If no course is available during the time period that you need the instrument, please consult with the Technical Manager.

4. Scheduling

Access to the microscopes can be obtained through reservation via the Faces program. During the daytime, no more than 2 hours can be reserved at a time. However, users are allowed to work longer if the time immediately following their sessions is available. Service and maintenance has scheduling priority.

Daytime hours (when a technical professional is present) are 8 am to 4 pm on Monday through Friday.

Cancellation of reserved sessions must be made at least two hours in advance or the user will still be charged for the time s/he reserved.

5. Fees

The scheduling system will be used as an estimate of user time. Most users will pay hourly fees according to a fee schedule to run samples independently, or with the help of a technician. To record user time accurately, a project information sheet and account number is required for each project or user. Always sign the instrument logbook to record your time usage. These records allow us to keep track of usage for maintenance and fee purposes. Funding to cover the charges can be obtained from a variety of internal and external funding sources.

6. Troubleshooting

Report any problem encountered when running the microscope in the logbook and contact a facility manager ASAP if the problem is serious (e.g., vacuum crashed, computer corrupted). Do not try to fix problems yourself. Emergency and after-hours contact phone numbers are available on laboratory doors.

7. Data Storage

The file storage computers in MIMIC are only for transferring and temporarily storing experimental results. Users are requested to store their data on a flash drive and carry out data analysis on another computer. Data kept on instrument computers will be deleted periodically without warning.

8. Supplies

In general, users are responsible for purchasing and replacing supplies. Some supplies for MIMIC instruments and the wet lab are available from the Technical Manager. Medium and large size gloves and extra lab glasses are provided as a safety precaution for all users.

9. Wet Lab Usage

A wet lab area is available for users to prepare samples and store limited samples and equipment in assigned drawers.
As usual for shared wet lab spaces, certain rules apply:

Be Safety Conscious.

  • Know safety information for the chemicals that you will use. MSDS sheets are available for chemicals commonly used in the center
  • Know where the fire extinguishers, safety showers and eyewashes are located.
  • Wear appropriate safety equipment (gloves, lab coat, goggles, dust mask, etc..)
  • The lab is Biosafety Level II, which means that moderately risky substances can be used in the facility.

Clean up after yourself!

  • Each frequent user will be assigned a drawer. Please store all unattended samples in this space!
  • LABEL your samples with your name, date, and contents. Unlabeled material will be considered waste and will be disposed of accordingly.
  • Place waste, including sharps waste, halogenated, non-halogenated wastes in appropriate containers. If you have trouble finding a waste container, ask for assistance.
  • An autoclave bag will be available for biohazards. Please remove your waste periodically.

Contact Information

More details are available in the MIMIC Policy. For any other questions or information about specific problems, contact:


MIMIC phone: 494-7976
Joyce Miller 898-2158
Marion Wells 594-7767
Andrienne Friedli 898-2071
If in doubt, call Joyce!