3.0 User Access


The nanoFAB is an open access centre available to anyone interested in utilizing the available equipment and expertise, regardless of background or affiliation.

The nanoFAB is open 24 hours a day except for an annual winter shutdown (where the entire University if closed) and other periodic maintenance shut-downs. The centre is staffed from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm M-F (except holidays). The policies for working in the nanoFAB are broken down into two categories:

  • Regular Hours – regular staffed hours, typically 8:00am – 5:00pm, M-F
  • After Hours – all other times, including special circumstances with limited staff onsite

3.1 Gaining Access

The nanoFAB is an open access centre available to anyone interested in utilizing the available equipment and expertise, regardless of background or affiliation.

The first step in gaining access to the nanoFAB is to create an LMACS profile. The Laboratory Management and Access Control System (LMACS) is an online, real time, project management system used by the nanoFAB for all day to day administrative tasks. The LMACS is used for booking equipment, viewing equipment usage, project management, making requests (training, maintenance) and a number of other administrative functions. As a Principal Investigator of a project, you have complete control over all activities within your project through the LMACS 

A one-time $200 administrative fee is charged for all new registrants.  If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) wishing to create a new group, this can be done upon activation of your account.

The following definitions are key to understanding the access and billing policies within the nanoFAB.

In order to access the nanoFAB you must create an LMACS profile. Once this process is completed you will become a registered user. As a user, you can be added to projects in order to perform work within the centre. A user can be a member of any number of projects.

Projects are containers for charges within the nanoFAB. The project type will determine the billing rate when accessing equipment and services (ie. Internal vs. External). Projects are owned by Groups who are financially responsible for the charges accumulated.

Groups represent a specific research group or business. Each group should have a single user who is designated as the owner. This individual will be financially responsible for any charges added to projects that they control.

Creating your account involves the following steps:

  1. Complete the registration form found on the LMACS home page or on this website. An activation link will be sent to your email.
  2. Click the activation link within 24 hours or you will need to start over. A confirmation email will be sent.
  3. Follow the instructions in the email to configure your account. During this stage you can select to join an existing project or create a new Group and Project.

Only create a new group if you will be financially responsible for the work completed in the nanoFAB.

3.2 Requesting Training / Services

Access to all nanoFAB resources is facilitated through the LMACS system by creating Requests. For information on how to use the request system within LMACS please review the slide shows below:

Once a user account has been created, and configured the user will have access to the LMACS system to create new requests. Once the request has been submitted it will be reviewed internally by the nanoFAB and directed to the appropriate staff member for processing.

3.3 Levels of Access

Centre access will lapse after 12 months of account inactivity when nanoFAB profiles become inactive. At this point the user will need to re-activate their account and re-take the safety orientation. This can be done online through the “re-activate” link on the sign-in page.

Individual tool access may expire after a period of inactivity. This period is tool specific. At this time individual tool access status will revert back to Trainee. At this point training re-qualification is required (at the discretion of the designated trainer).

*All training and access requests are to be initiated by the individual user using the LMACS system

Centre Access

  1. Must have completed the Mandatory Training Course & Safety Orientation.  
  2. Must have attained User status on at least one nanoFAB tool.
  3. Access: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays.

Must meet all of the User requirements as well as:

  1. Have minimum of Colleague status on at least one nanoFAB tool.
  2. Access: 24 hours.

Individual Tool Access

  1. Must have completed the Mandatory Training Course & Safety Orientation.
  2. Must be accompanied by the designated trainer when training on a new tool.  Cannot book equipment or process without supervision.
  3. Access: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays
  1. Must meet all of the Trainee requirements.
  2. Must have met the training requirements and have been signed off on that tool by a staff member.
  3. Access: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays.
  1. Must have met all of the User requirements.
  2. Access: 24 hours.

3.4 Working in the nanoFAB (regular & after-hour access)

All equipment and processes in the nanoFAB are subject to a Hazard assessment (sample). The assessment is used to classify the process into one of three Risk Categories as described below. The policies for performing processes in each of the categories is described below for both regular business hours as well as after hours.

 

Risk Categories

Upon completion of the Hazard Assessment, the highest risk factor identified will be used to classify the process / equipment.

Low Risk items are deemed to pose little to no risk to people or equipment.

During Regular Hours:

  • Use standard laboratory handling procedures as defined in the SOP

After Hours:

  • Use standard laboratory handling procedures as defined in the SOP

Moderate risk to people or equipment. This covers the majority of the equipment in the cleanroom as the environment poses a moderate risk (chemicals, hazardous gasses, hot surfaces, sharp objects etc..)

During Regular Hours:

  • Use standard laboratory handling procedures as defined in the SOP

After Hours:

  • Use standard laboratory handling procedures as defined in the SOP

High risk to either people or equipment. Processes or equipment falling into this category require additional precautions to ensure the safety of the user and / or equipment.

During Regular Hours:

  • A user must notify at least one other individual that they are about to begin a high-risk task or process. The user must confirm that the other individual will be present for the duration of the task. The other individual is not obligated to agree.
  • The other individual must be in the lab space. They can be anywhere in the lab space, and do not need to be within arm’s reach. They must be within earshot.
  • If the user cannot locate another individual they cannot perform the process.

After Hours:

  • A user must arrange to have a qualified buddy present in the lab space for the duration of the task.
  • Administrative procedures to enforce this policy are pending

After-Hour Access

All users requesting after-hour access must:

  • Submit a formal request for access to the process and equipment they wish to use – to be approved by the nanoFAB
  • Complete a hazard assessment of the process they wish to use and submit it to the nanoFAB for approval
  • Supply a list of potential buddies for review (for high-risk processes)

Qualified Buddy:

  • A nanoFAB user who has completed cleanroom safety orientation
  • Has been approved by the nanoFAB to act as a buddy for the particular task or process

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