Leica microscope in a dark room

Policies and Rates

Personal use of microscopes is open only to those taking a training course or academic credit course in electron microscopy. Non-qualified users operating equipment 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 system has been set up. 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.

Scheduling training and assistance

If a training or assistance is needed, the researcher should contact the MMRL Director, Laying Wu, 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 must contact the EM staff in advance to cancel the reservation. Repeatedly missing your appointment time may lead to privileges for use of the MMRL facilities to be restricted.

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 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 prepare sample(s).
  3. Supplies to maintain the instruments.
  4. Service contracts.
  5. Administrative costs.

Failure to make payments may result in loss of privileges in the MMRL until the charge is paid.

Service Internal Academic Research User Rates External Academic Research User Rates External Non-Academic User Rates
Equipment and Support (cost per hour)
Hitachi S-3400N VP SEM $25.00 $45.00 $120.00
Hitachi H-7500 TEM $30.00 $55.00 $120.00
Nikon C2 CLSM $30.00 $55.00 $120.00
Technical support and labor service $25.00 $55.00 $80.00
Microtomy (cost per sample)
Thick sectioning $30.00 $40.00 $80.00
Ultrathin sectioning $35.00 $50.00 $90.00
Auxiliary Instruments (cost per run)
Critical point drying
CO2 and cylinder costs
$30.00 $50.00 $50.00
Sputter coating
metal target, Argon and cylinder costs
$30.00 $50.00 $50.00
Carbon evaporation coating $30.00 $50.00 $50.00
Sample Preparation (cost per sample)
Biological samples for SEM
conventional fixation and dehydration
$30.00 $40.00 $50.00
Process and embedding in resin
fixation, dehydration, infiltration and embedding
$40.00 $50.00 $60.00
Tissue samples preparation and paraffin embedding $40.00 $50.00 $60.00
Negative staining or double staining $15.00 $20.00 $20.00
Histochemical staining
H and E stain
$30.00 $40.00 $60.00
Supplies (cost per each)
Grid box $12.00 $12.00
Regular carbon coated TEM grid $3.00 $3.00