skip to main content

Facilities Updates

MRL Facilities Training Update:

The MRL Central Research Facilities laboratories are open to users, with training and staff support available during regular working hours. In alignment with state, campus and MRL guidelines, the MRL facilities will continue to follow general safety and hygiene guidelines as described below:

Before coming to the MRL, you must have completed the DRS COVID-19 online safety training:

Also, please make sure that you are up to date and compliant with COVID-19 testing requirements from campus (be prepared to show “building access granted” by smartphone app or boarding pass when reporting for training).

Please bring your building key and I-card to enter the MRL building or any of the facilities laboratories, as the building will be locked. For training of users with no building key access, staff will meet you at the front (Goodwin Ave.) door before training sessions (please make sure to mention in your training request that you do not yet have a building key). We are open 24/7 to trained users, but exercise caution if working after hours – please follow the instructions in specific laboratories to use the “buddy system” as required. Please do not bring any visitors to the building.

For trained users with access to the MRL facilities, make sure you have reserved the instrument using our online reservation system. Our reservation system will account for social distancing – when reserving an instrument, the system will automatically block scheduling access to other instruments nearby in the lab. It will also block one hour after each user’s reservation to allow for proper air circulation.

Campus-approved facemasks must always be worn in the MRL common areas, shared offices and labs.

Clean hands with hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds in a restroom as you enter the MRL building, before you leave, and when moving between different labs in the facilities. Keep social distancing of at least 6 feet from any other person while in the buildings.

No food or drink consumption is allowed inside the laboratories.

Due to social distancing requirements, maximum occupancy of most of our labs is restricted to 1 person. During training sessions, staff will be physically present in the lab for only the necessary amount of time and will maintain social distance. Most training sessions will involve a sizeable remote screensharing component. In some larger laboratory spaces, the maximum occupancy may be higher, but please follow the signage at the entrance of each lab. Upon staff approval, if there must be more than one person in a certain area, please maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet away from other individual).

Wear masks, gloves and additional PPE as required per lab and process.

Users are asked to disinfect working surfaces before and after their sessions. Paper wipes and 70% ethanol solution are provided in each lab. Staff will disinfect common working surfaces each workday, instrument schedules permitting.

Any process involving hazardous chemicals requires a buddy system (example: wet chemical processes in cleanroom labs). If you do not have a lab-mate to serve as the buddy, contact MRL staff to serve in this role. Buddies must maintain social distancing and have PPE available to assist in an emergency.

Staff support: call and/or e-mail staff of each lab (see staff information posted on the lab door). In general, during regular working hours staff will be available either on site or remotely via phone, e-mail or video conference.

Instrument training: Face-to-face individual training is available following regular MRL facilities training request procedures. No group training in the labs is available at this point. Most of the facilities trainings have been modified to include online resources and video conference in order to minimize face-to-face interaction. Upon arrival to the on-site training session, users are required to show “building access granted” as indicated by campus smartphone app or boarding pass, in compliance with the campus requirement of regular COVID-19 testing.

Back up data before leaving the lab – this is very important in case of unexpected lab shutdown, or to process the data from remote location.

Do not leave material/samples in the lab unless authorized by staff. Take all working material and personal belongings with you when leaving the lab.

Thank you for your patience during these difficult times. We understand the delays the entire process has caused to your academic and research programs. We will keep you updated as the situation evolves.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

Warm regards,

Mauro Sardela, Ph.D.
Director, Central Research Facilities
Materials Research Laboratory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
104 S. Goodwin Avenue – Urbana IL 61801
(217) 244 0547 | office # SC2014

Group 1 - Facilities labs – maximum occupancy for users’ access:

Lab room # Lab description Max occupancy in the room Core
MRL SC 0014 AFM lab Max 2 as follows:
1 at the North side (Cypher or MFP-3D-2); 1 at the S side (MFP-3D-1 or Tosca)
MRL SC 0013 Hysitron Triboindenter, Piuma soft indenter and Hitachi S4800 SEM lab 1 SPM and EM
MRL SC 0011 JEOL 2100-Cryo TEM and ultramicrotome lab 1 at the TEM, 1 at the ultramicrotome EM
MRL SC 0015 Wet lab prep room 1 EM
MRL SC 0022 Laser lab 1 LSF
MRL SC 0021 JEOL 6060 SEM and sputter coaters 1 EM
MRL SC 0020 JEOL 7000 SEM 1 EM
MRL SC 0018 Hitachi S4700 SEM and sputter coaters 1 EM
MRL SC 0017 JEOL 2010 LaB6 TEM 1 EM
MRL B66 Thermo Themis TEM 1 EM
MRL B62A Hitachi H9500 DETEM 1 EM
MRL B62 EM holder pump stations 1 EM
MRL B58 Helios and Scios2 FIB’s, and Tergeo plasma cleaner 1 EM
MRL B56 EM polishing/prep room 1 EM
MRL B59 EM milling, Vitrobot, glovebox and PECII ion beam polisher 2, as long as each person works on benches near opposite walls EM
MRL 125 Bio service lab 1 EM
MRL 142 Hitachi H600 TEM 1 EM

Group 2 - Facilities labs – maximum occupancy for users’ access:

Lab room # Lab description Max occupancy in the room Core
MRL B01 CAMECA atom probe tomography 1 Surface analysis
MRL B04 Phi TOF-SIMS 1 Surface analysis
MRL B06 Phi AES 1 Surface analysis
MRL B08 New Kratos XPS 1 Surface analysis
MRL B81 Kratos XPS 1 Surface analysis
MRL B80 Dektak profilometer and Leitz microhardness tester 1 Surface analysis and SPM
MRL 130 NEC Pelletron accelerator Max 2 as follows:
1 at West side running RBS analysis, and
1 at the East side near the source if appropriate
Surface analysis
MRL 133 Soft Materials lab 1 Soft materials
MRL 148C SAXS/Laue lab 1 X-rays
MRL 148B “Jade” computer room 1 X-rays
MRL 148 South Side
X-ray instruments
X-ray tools Max 2 as follows:
1 at either D8 or D5000 system;
1 at either X’pert 2 or XRF
MRL 148 North Side Laser Lab instruments Laser Lab tools

Three lab areas:

  • West wing: Vase, Gardner, Cary 5000 UV-VIS
  • Center: Cary 5G, solar simulator
  • East wing: Fluorometer, OL750, Goniometer

Max 1 in the entire area if using Center; or

Max 2 if one using West wing, the second using East wing, and no one using Center.

MRL SC 0024 Main laser lab

Max 1 person per each of these areas:

  • TDTR1 and Nicolet FTIR
  • TDTR2 and TR-PL
  • Witec, PL, Montana cryostat, custom setup
  • OPO laser, 2-photon microscope

Group 3 - Facilities labs – maximum occupancy for users’ access:

Lab room # Lab description Max occupancy in the room Core
MRL 348 E-beam dep tools 1 Fab
MRL 344 Pump/utilities 1 Fab
MRL 342 RIE & PECVDs 1 Fab
MRL 336 Sputtering systems 1 Fab
MRL 335 Nanoscribe 1 Fab
MRL 334 Ion mill evaporator 1 Fab
MRL 328 Furnaces 1 Fab
MRL 326 ALD, probes, etc. Max 2 as follows:
1 at AJA2, ALD’s, Thermo evaporator, or Parylene;
1 at probes, bonders or microscope
MRL 322 Graphene, HT furnaces 1 Fab
MRL 313 Cleanroom gowning area 1 Fab
MRL 388 Cleanroom lithography 1 Fab
MRL 387 Cleanroom metal etching 1 (buddy system required) Fab
MRL 359 Cleanroom acid etching 1 (buddy system required) Fab
MRL 364 Raith prep gowning area 1 Fab
MRL 362 Raith prep area and Raith Eline EBL 1 Fab
MRL 328 MRSEC AFM, glove box 1 Fab
MRL 310 2 PPMS and 2 MPMS systems 1 Magnetometry
MRL 410 1 MPMS (facility) and 1 wet MPMS (not facility) 1 Magnetometry


Updates about the MRL Facilities: