Facilities Updates

MRL Facilities Training Update:

Following the original 8-week plan for the gradual return to research activities in the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we are happy to inform you that our Central Research Facilities reopened to users on Monday, July 13th. We have also returned to our normal operation of training new users and providing instrument demonstrations as required

Please continue to follow the procedures below:

  • Wear a CDC-approved facemask. Masks are required at all times in offices and labs while in the MRL buildings (even when you are alone in the lab). Don’t drink or eat in the building.
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer often.
  • Practice social distancing of six feet or more.
  • Follow MRL occupancy limits. Limits are posted at the entrance of every lab. Most labs are limited to one person at a time. If you would like to collaborate with a colleague during a session, please set up a Zoom meeting.
  • Use provided cleaning products to wipe down work spaces before and after instrument use. Paper wipes and 70% ethanol solution are provided in each lab. Staff will disinfect common working surfaces at the beginning of the day on workdays, pending instrument availability. Cover instrument control surfaces with single-use covers as instructed by staff.
  • Follow testing requirements for entrance to University buildings.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Continue to practice the “buddy system” when working with hazardous materials (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.
  • Bring your key and I-card to enter the MRL building or any of the facilities laboratories, as the building will be locked. We are open 24/7, but exercise caution if working after hours – please use the “buddy system” as required.
  • Do not leave material/samples in the lab unless authorized by staff. Take all working materials and personal belongings when leaving the lab. Please copy your data proactively.


We have resumed training of new users as usual. Please understand that due to the campus- and state-mandated shutdown or restricted access to labs over the past months, we have a considerable number of researchers in line to be trained in order to have access to our tools. We are working hard to accommodate everyone as fast as possible, but we are simultaneously taking very seriously campus, state and CDC guidelines to minimize the risks of COVID-19 infection within our community. We appreciate your patience!


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.

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

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