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Mechanical & Materials Engineering


NCMN Central Facility for Electron Microscopy

Location:

  • 12C Scott Engineering Center (SEC)

Who can use the facility?

  • Any other persons in Nebraska involved in research having a legitimate use for Electron Microscopy techniques
  • Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking courses involving Electron Microscopy
  • Employees of companies in Nebraska needing Electron Microscopy characterization

Use Requirements

The facility's equipment and resources are available for use by any persons conducting scientific research in Nebraska under the following restrictions:

  • The research or investigations being conducted involve Nebraska projects or companies
  • The person must have legitimate reasons that justify using the equipment
  • The person must meet the approval of facility staff and be "qualified" on the equipment before being able to use it "solo" * All users must establish a billing center number for charges to be applied to during use of facility equipment
  • All users must comply with the mandates of Facility staff and the NCMN and follow their directions at all times. Failure to meet all of these requirements will result in the user having his/her privileges revoked for and indefinite period of time.

Qualification Procedure

The general procedure for gaining access to the facility and its equipment is as follows:

  1. Register your desire to become a user of the specific piece of equipment with the CFEM Specialist
  2. Read and understand the Standard Operating Procedure, Emergency Operating Procedure and Scheduling Policy for the specific piece of equipment.
  3. Pass a written examination on the use of the equipment
  4. Pass a "Driving Test" on the equipment with either the CFEM Specialist or Faculty Advisor present
  5. Establish a company center number for billing purposes This policy, although lengthy, is necessary to insure the proper and safe use of all lab equipment; minimizing damage to equipment and the subsequent loss in productivity by other users and expense to the facility and university.

Safety and Chemicals:

Any samples or chemicals brought into the facility should be accompanied by their respective Material Safety Data Sheet. These should be brought to the attention of the CFEM Specialist before any work is done. The CFEM Specialist will review the materials and decide whether the work will be allowed in the Facility and what safety precautions will be made

History:

CFEM was created in 1991 by the Center for Materials Research and Analysis when a need for electon microscopy capabilities was foreseen in order to further materials research in Nebraska. A UNL faculty member was added to serve as Faculty Adviser to the facility as well as a researcher/instructor in the growing Materials Science & Engineering branch of the Mechanical Engineering Department. This faculty member, Dr. Brian Robertson, set about the task of choosing the site for the facility and its equipment.

In September of 1991, remodeling of 1400 sq. feet of unused basement space in Scott Engineering Center was completed; providing stringent temperature, acoustic, vibration and magnetic interference control. With the initial $600,000 funding from NCMN the facility purchased three electron microscopes(EM) and assorted support equipment, establishing it as the premier EM facility between Arizona and Illinois.

A new electron microscope, a VG HB-5 STEM, was installed in the facility in February 1994 and became operational during the spring of the same year, bringing the total to four instruments.

Philips 400T was out of service in 2000.