The Shared Facilities are normally opened on Institute workdays at 9:00 a.m. and closed at 5:00 p.m. There may be exceptions to this schedule, particularly during the vacation period in the summer. Notice of such exceptions will be given as far in advance as is practical.


  • Night/weekend use privileges are granted to experienced MIT users at the graduate level or higher with a significant "track record" of competent and productive use of the instruments. The appropriate staff member will advise a user, on request, whether the user's experience on the instrument qualifies them for night/weekend privileges.  
  • All self-use privileges are granted for particular instruments only. In no case may a user operate any piece of equipment for which he/she has not received specific self-user approval from the appropriate staff member.
  • Users working in the facility out of normal working hours are responsible for recognizing the limits of their own skills. If they reach a point where they are unsure how to proceed they must stop work at once and close the instrument down. All use of the SEFs out of normal hours, regardless of the amount of data obtained, will be billable.

The electronic lock system is operated by the MIT ID card. The system will be set up to recognize a user's card by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (13-2090, x3-5965).  


  • Any work using chemicals, except for use of the photographic solutions in the darkrooms.
  • Any work involving the moving, installation or removal of any instruments or accessories (e.g. hot or cold stages in the microscopes) or the setting-up of any special equipment.
  • Any transfer of liquid nitrogen, unless a second person is present in the lab at the time.
  • Any work taking longer than 6 hours without a 1 hour break, or more than 16 hours in any 24 hour period.

Please see the Work Alone Policy.


All users are solely responsible for the preservation and security of data collected in the MRL MRSEC Shared Experimental Facilities. We do not guarantee that your data will be backed up and safe from deletion, nor do we guarantee that others cannot access and copy your data.


If use of the MRL MRSEC shared facilities and/or the assistance of a specific MRL MRSEC technical staff member has made a significant contribution to your research, please acknowledge this contribution in any publications or research reports.

Please use the following statement: "This work made use of the MRSEC Shared Experimental Facilities at MIT, supported by the National Science Foundation under award number DMR-1419807." We would appreciate receiving notice of publications which cite research conducted through the use of Center's facilities.


Work billed against any Industrial Liaison funds (via, for example, a Departmental Industrial Liaison account), or against any discretionary account will only be considered MIT work if it is directly and demonstrably for the purpose of furthering an MIT sponsored research project or for assisting an MIT student to complete work for a thesis.


When a consulting relationship exists between a Faculty or Staff member and some outside commercial organization, and the work to be performed in the facility is in any way connected with the substance of the consulting agreement or the interests of the outside organization, the work will automatically be considered commercial work unless the PI can justify otherwise. Any faculty work in the MRL MRSEC SEFs involving consulting of an industrial or legal nature must have prior approval of the MRL MRSEC director and comply with outside user procedures.


Work billed improperly to an MIT account is considered commercial work. As an example, if the XYZ Company sponsors a research project at MIT, but then asks for some microscopy to be performed on samples related to its own in-house research, this work, even if billed to the research account, would be outside work.


  • Non-academic users may not make use of MRL MRSEC facilities if any commercial analytical or service organization offers essentially the same service.
  • Use of the facilities is intended for short-term projects, such as the simple test of an idea. A long-term project (for example, a process development project which requires extensive or prolonged use of analytical services) is not appropriate.
  • Use of the facilities is intended only for basic research and/or product development purposes. Any work in the MRL MRSEC SEFs involving consulting of an industrial or legal nature must have prior approval of the MRL MRSEC director.
  • When possible, staff will help users with the interpretation or other use of data, photographs, or other results obtained from facility information. However, the user ultimately takes sole responsibility for the interpretation and application of the results to their problem.
  • Non-MIT users are only granted lab access during MIT regular business hours, 9am-5pm.
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