Facilities policies


CDCM Shared Experimental Facilities

General Policy


The CDCM shared experimental facilities are intended for facilitating cutting-edge scientific research mainly in the area of material science and engineering. Users shall at all times observe all university/facilities, federal or state rules, and regulations while using the facility, including but not limited to rules and regulations designed to protect the safety of persons and property. Any user who violates the policy will forfeit his/her privilege to access the facilities and instrument.

Access to the facilities:

  • The facilities are open to all researchers including UT faculty and students, external academic agencies, and industrial partners.
  • Before using the facilities, all users are required to take safety training courses including but not limited to (specific facility may have additional requirement):
  • All facilities are under 24 hours surveillance for safety purposes.
  • Do not share access code to the facilities.

Instrument reservation:

  • All instruments must be reserved and enabled prior to use.
  • All users must obtain training and instruction and demonstrate sufficient proficiency for the specific instrument before he/she is eligible to make a reservation online.
  • The user should contact the facility to schedule onsite training, which typically occurs every Tuesday or Thursday.
  • The facilities use FBS system for reservation and billing. All users need an account to gain access to the system. Detailed instructions on how to make a reservation can be found online (https://mrsec.utexas.edu/facilities-reservation).

User fees

  • User fees are charged for all users to recover the cost of maintenance, repairs, consumables, as well as recovery of the instrument.
  • Users should have a valid 10-digit account number for each reservation.
  • The current rates are posted online (https://mrsec.utexas.edu/user-fees) and approved by the university accounting office.
  • User fees are charged on an hourly basis for the reservation time plus excess usage.
  • The user may not change/cancel the reservation within 24 hours of the scheduled time and shall expect to be billed up to the entire reserved time.
  • A one-time flat fee is charged at $40 per person ($50 For-Profit) for training.

Use the instrument

  • Users should have a reservation and enable access through FBS by clicking the “start timer” button.
  • Any attempts to disable or bypass the interlock systems are prohibited and may result in the suspension of facilities privileges.
  • Users should check the condition of the instrument before or during use. Any malfunction or damage should be reported immediately to the facility.
  • Facilities reserve the right to charge the repair due to improperly use of the instrument.
  • Users are expected to remove all samples and to leave the work area in as clean or cleaner condition compared to when they arrived.


  • All personnel who works in the facilities should be in compliance with federal and state laws, university regulations, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) requirements, and CDCM shared experimental facilities policies.
  • Each facility may have additional safety policies to comply with.
  • All activities conducted in facilities should not comprise safety.
  • Violation of safety policies will result in immediate suspension of access to the facilities.


The CDCM shared experimental facilities are funded by the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program (DMR-1720595). Users who use the facility should acknowledge using the statement below:

The authors acknowledge the use of shared research facilities supported in part by the Texas Materials Institute, the Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials: an NSF MRSEC (DMR-1720595), and the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (ECCS-1542159).”



Laser safety policies and procedures

Version 1.1


This is not a complete guide of laser safety and is intended to serve as a guide for the safe use of the CDCM laser facility. More laser safety information can be found on https://ehs.utexas.edu/programs/lasers/. We strive to make a safe working environment. All personnel who works in this facility should be in compliance with federal and state laws, university regulations, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) requirements, and CDCM shared experimental facilities policies.

Any violation of laser safety policies will result in an immediate suspension of access to CDCM laser facility for one month or longer.

Cameras may be installed inside the laser curtain to ensure safety procedures are followed rigorously.

Access to the laser facility

Laser operation (Standard operating procedures are attached at the end)

  • On-site training will be given for first-time users who will operate the lasers. You are not allowed to operate the lasers independently without approval by the trainer or facility manager.
  • The laser sign should be on whenever the laser is operating.
  • Wearing a laser safety eyewear is mandatory for all users to enter the curtain enclosed zone when the laser sign is on. Multiple wavelengths could be present simultaneously. Choose appropriate eyewear based on the running wavelengths. The eyewear selection guide is posted next to the eyewear behind the entrance door. A copy of this guide as well as laser parameters and OD requirements are attached at the end.
  • The operating laser wavelength should always be written on the LED board located near the entrance door. Wipe off the board and turn off the laser sign when you finish using the lasers. If another laser is still running, only wipe off the laser wavelength you were using.
  • Laser should be turned off or blocked when not in use. Make sure that all possible beam exit ports are securely blocked.
  • Users are not allowed to make changes to the laser settings and optical beam paths without permission. Fine adjustments to collection optics are permitted and expected.
  • If beam path alignment is necessary, set the laser power to the lowest setting. Work with facility managers and authorized users to make modifications. Do not remove or move optics before the upstream beam is blocked. All changes to the beam paths MUST be reported to the facility manager.
  • NEVER position yourself where your eyes at the same height with the laser beam. NEVER look into the laser beam even when the laser is off.
  • After the on-site training, you are required to sign the standard operating procedure in order to gain access to the facilities. Don't sign if you don't understand the content.


  • Chemical use should be minimized and limited to cleaning solutions.
  • Do not leave the laser unattended. If you are taking data over-night, please notify other users using a board near the entrance or/and using the email list (mailto:cdcm_facilities_laserlab@utlists.utexas.edu) or slack.
  • If the laser light is on and the room light is off, please do not turn the room light on. Someone may be taking a measurement.
  • If a malfunction of laser occurs, shut down the laser and contact the facility manager immediately. In case of any emergency, call 911.