Policies and Rates

A user should not attempt to personally use a microscope unless he/she is taking a training course or academic credit course in electron microscopy. Use by a non-qualified operator will result in loss of usage privileges of the facility.

MMRL Schedule

The regular hours of the MMRL will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., if the University is on the summer schedule). The facility will be open at other times only to qualified independent night operators or by special arrangement with the MMRL Director/Co-director or instructors.

Instrument scheduling

In order to permit as many researchers and outreach groups as possible to use the instruments and to help researchers plan their time for using the MMRL, a web based instrument calendar and sign-up sheet for the use of each instrument will be posted at MMRL website. Users have to schedule in advance up to four-hour blocks of time in a day. Scheduling will be done on a weekly basis.

If scheduled maintenance/repair or if time for training is needed on an instrument, notice will be posted on the MMRL website.

Scheduling training and assistance

If a training or assistance is needed, the researcher should contact the MMRL director a week or two (the earlier the better) prior to needing the microscopy work.


Anyone scheduled to use the MMRL facilities is expected to do so at the assigned time. If one cannot come to the MMRL or the sample is not ready, he/she contact the EM staff in advance to cancel the schedule. Repeatedly missing your appointed time for using the equipment may lead to privileges for use of the MMRL facilities to be restricted during the week.

Log Books

Log books are provided for each piece of equipment in the MMRL. Each time a piece of equipment is utilized an entry must be placed in the log sheet. Entries will vary, but will include the name of the user, user’s advisor, date, and time (starting and ending) of use, and comments. It is essential that these logs be maintained to facilitate instrument maintenance.


Hourly charges: Hourly charges for internal, external academic, and external industrial users will be calculated for the equipment's maintenance and supply costs. Cost basis includes:

  1. Direct usage and specimen preparation costs
  2. Supplies required to sample preparation
  3. Supplies to maintain the instruments
  4. Service contracts
  5. Administrative costs

Non-payment of charges may result in loss of privileges in the MMRL until payment is made.

EquipmentCost ($ per hour)
Internal AcademicExternal EducationalExternal Non-Educational
Scanning Electron Microscopy
Hitachi S-3400N VP SEM 20 35 150
Hitachi S-2460 SEM 15 35 150
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Hitachi H-7500 TEM 20 40 150
Scanning Probe Microscope
Angstrom AA5000 SPM 20 40 150
Thick Sectioning 20 35 80
Ultrathin Sectioning 20 40 80
Auxiliary Facilities (Per run)
Critical point drying (CO2 costs and cylinder costs) 10 15 40
Sputter coating (Metal target, Argon and cylinder costs) (Denton Desk II) 10 15 40
Carbon coating/shadow coating (Denton DV 502A high vacuum evaporator) 10 15 40
Fast carbon coating (Denton Desk IV) 10 20 50
Tissue processor 20 20 50
Imaging analysis     30/hour
Sample preparation costs (Per sample)
Biological samples for SEM (including conventional fixation and dehydration) 15 25 50
Process and embedding in resin (including: fixation, dehydration, infiltration) and: 20 50 50
Tissue samples for paraffin embedding 10 10 60
Negative staining or double staining 5 8 10
Immunolabeling Varies
Histochemical staining (H and E stain) 8 10 40
Histochemical staining (special stain) Varies
Technical Support 20 25  
Rush order technical support 40 40  
Imaging analysis 10 15  
Osmium tetroxide (2mL 4% in water) 6 6  
Formvar coated or carbon coated grids 5/grid 5/grid  
Lacey carbon grids 6/grid 6/grid