4.0 Day to Day Operations

It is important that all users understand the day-to-day policies that are in place within the nanoFAB. The majority of these policies are enacted to ensure fair access to the limited space and resources available to all.

4.1 Storage Box Policy

The following terms and conditions are enacted as the nanoFAB clean room storage box policy.  This policy is necessary to ensure that the limited clean room storage space available is efficiently allocated. Administration and processing of the Storage Box Policy will be handled by the nanoFAB Administration Office.

  1. Storage boxes will only be assigned to registered local active nanoFAB users.  
  2. The nanoFAB reserves the right to restrict the total number of individual storage boxes per group (academic or industrial).
  3. The users name and group/supervisor will be marked on the storage box.  It is the responsibility of the user to keep the information regarding ownership up-to-date with the nanoFAB.
  4. A $20 refundable/transferable storage box deposit is required to obtain a storage box.
  5. External users of the nanoFAB will be provided at no charge, a common use storage box for their on-site work.  External users will not be allowed to maintain or store items in a storage box upon completion of work within the cleanroom. Exceptions can be accommodated on a case-by-case basis, please speak with a nanoFAB training staff member.
  6. Inactive nanoFAB users cannot have assigned storage boxes.  If a box belongs to an inactive user an email will be sent requesting removal of contents or transfer of ownership.
  7. Users (active or inactive) receiving an email from nanoFAB staff requesting action on their storage box will have 30 days to comply.  Failure to comply will result in forfeit of storage box deposit.
  8. Absolutely no chemical storage is allowed in storage boxes.  The nanoFAB provides a variety of safe chemical storage options for clearly labeled chemicals.
  9. Only clean-room compatible items can be stored inside storage boxes located in the Class 100 clean room.  For a complete list, or clarification of compatible items, please check with a nanoFAB staff member.
  10. Regular audits of storage box use and adherence to the Storage Box Policy will be done.
  11. This policy will take effect October 1, 2010 and will be reviewed on a yearly basis. Notification of these changes will be implemented through postings on the nanoFAB website and through a policy change notification email to the nanoFAB community.
  12. Abandoned storage boxes will be removed from the cleanroom during periodic storage audits. At this time the user will be notified and the contents of the storage box will be available for pick-up for a period of up to 12 months. After this period, the contents will be disposed of.

4.2 Lost & Found

All samples, masks or other items not stored in your locker at the end of the day will be placed in the lost and found box located in gowning. The items in the lost and found box will be disposed of at two-week intervals.

4.3 Equipment & Tools

Equipment can be used only for its designed purpose and in a manner for which it was intended.

  • It is the expected to leave a tool in as good, or better condition than when processing begun.
  • It is the users responsibility to report any malfunction of equipment to the nanoFAB.  All reports should be made through the LMACS system.
  • All logbooks must be filled in every time a user uses a piece of equipment.
  • Altering or modifying any piece of equipment without authorization from the nanoFAB staff is prohibited.
  • Treat all tools with care and use them in a safe manner for their intended purpose.
  • Return any tools that you use in a clean, undamaged condition to the drawer or storage area where they came from.
  • Report lost or damaged tools to nanoFAB staff as soon as possible.
  • Conflicts regarding access to equipment and it’s surrounding workspace: Priority will be given to a user who has booked the equipment(*), followed by whomever is logged in to the equipment. *-see 15 minute rule in Billing & Booking section

Standard operating procedures for each piece of equipment are posted on our website.

No equipment can be removed from the nanoFAB without the permission of the nanoFAB staff

4.4 Tours

The nanoFAB welcomes tours of its facility by any group. Small (one or two people) self-guided tours do not need to be pre-arranged with the nanoFAB: the user or tour guide can simply bring the tour groups to the facility. These self-guided tours are restricted to the hallways surrounding the cleanroom and characterization lab. For guest/visitor access to the cleanroom and/or the 10k area, please see Section 4.5.

For tours of 3 or more people, please complete the Tour Request Form.

4.5 Visitors/Guests

Any currently active nanoFAB user may submit a request to bring guests into the centre (one-time access). For the request to be approved, the user must have attained at least a user status on at least one piece of equipment in the area they wish to visit. Please note that guests are allowed in nanoFAB lab spaces during normal, staffed business hours only, regardless of whether or not the host user has after-hours access to any lab space.

The guest access procedure is as follows:

  1. The host user creates an LMACS request
    1. The request type should be Guest Access so that it is appropriately routed.
    2. The user must include:
      1. Purpose of visit and brief description of scope (what do they plan to do while here)
      2. Guest name(s)
      3. Guest email(s)
      4. Guest affiliation(s) with respect to host user (e.g., co-worker, friend, relative)
      5. Guest age(s) if under 18
      6. Requested date and time of visit
  2. Review request
    1. nanoFAB staff will review the request and determine whether it should be approved or denied. The approval process is solely at the discretion of nanoFAB staff members, but at a bare minimum the requesting user must have at least a user status on one piece of equipment in the area they with to visit (e.g., cleanroom, 10k area, characterization lab, etc.).
  3. Complete visit (if approved)
    1. If the request is approved, the user shall bring the guests at the indicated date/time to the nanoFAB administrative office (ECERF W1-053) to sign in before entering the lab.
    2. During sign-in, each guest will receive a guest ID badge.
    3. The host user is required to provide an abridged safety orientation to the guests. This must include the location of all emergency exits, eyewash stations, safety showers, and overview of the status indicators and hazardous gas alarms.
    4. Guests are not permitted to touch or operate any equipment in the nanoFAB.
    5. Once the visit is complete, each guest shall return the ID badge to the nanoFAB administrative office and sign out.

The intent for the above process is to accommodate users who wish to give guests a taste of the experience of working in the cleanroom, and/or to see some details of a process of interest first hand. For situations where multiple visits to the cleanroom or 10k are desired, the guests must register as nanoFAB users and request a cleanroom safety orientation, after completion of which they may enter the cleanroom and 10k area at will.

4.6 PVD Deposition Material Policy

As a convenience to our user community, the nanoFAB supplies many materials for magnetron sputtering and electron beam evaporation.  Please consult the nanoFAB for a list of available materials. The use of the nanoFAB provided deposition materials is excluded for:

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Depositions greater than the listed thicknesses

  1. Reactive Sputtering
  2. Co-Sputtering
  3. Any process deemed non-standard for contamination, material compatibility or other undetermined reasons

In these instances, or if a high level of contamination control is required, it is the responsibility of the user to supply their own deposition materials.  Once a user has determined which material and deposition technique is required, it is also the responsibility of the user to ensure both the material (see Chemical Import Policy) and process (see Project Proposal) have been approved by the nanoFAB.  Please note, precious metals are noted below in bold (Au, Pt, Pd) are billed solely on a cost recovery basis based on weight used.  Other materials as listed on the next page may be used at no additional cost beyond equipment hourly rate.

4.7 Equipment & Facilities Problems

If a user encounters a problem with a piece any of equipment, it is the responsibility of the user to ensure the system is in a safe state before continuing.  If the user is unsure of the state of the piece of equipment, contact a staff member immediately.  At all times, be aware of your own safety and that of other lab users.

Major Problem – Damaged, Safety Concern, Flood, unknown state, etc.

  • Daytime: Contact Staff Immediately – follow their instructions
    1. Report the incident using the LMACS system 
  • After hours:
    1. Phone After-Hours Contact immediately.  This can be found in the Emergency binder in gowning.
    2. If unable to contact above, contact U of A Controls Center: 780-492-4855
    3. If required, phone 911
    4. Report the incident using the LMACS system 

Minor Problem – Minor Performance Issue, Uncommon Performance noticed, etc.

  • At all Times
    1. Report the incident using the LMACS system.
    2. If necessary, place a “Down” sign on the tool.  These can be found at the nearest toolbox.