PI Dashboard

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This page aims at collecting key information relevant to Principal Investigators using (or interested in) the LNF.

Getting Started in the LNF

The LNF offers two main modes of usage. In the primary mode of operation, individual researchers (students, post docs, scientists...) can be trained as independent users and use the LNF with the support of staff members. Each new user is assigned an LNF mentor, who will train them on the tools and processes needed for the project. LNF mentors also review the project and process plans as part of the initial access discussions and make recommendations - both before and during the project - as needed to be as efficient as possible. LNF mentors can be senior users in the same research group as the new user, or LNF staff members, as is most appropriate. Training is not charged separately, it is included in the normal lab usage fees and is typically done as the project progresses. There is no added cost for staff mentoring up to 20h of staff time, which we have found is sufficient for most projects.

Alternatively, for a fee, LNF staff members can perform nanofabrication process services based on your specifications. This option is typically used for established processes and fabrication steps, and is subject to availability of staff and tool resources. All process service work is done on a best-efforts basis and the LNF cannot guarantee a particular device or project result.

In addition, it is also possible to work with external contractors who perform micro/nanofabrication work as a service. These consultants are not affiliated with the LNF, but are authorized, experienced users of the facility who accept contract work for fabrication projects.

There are several steps required to gain onsite access to the LNF. The exact procedure and required documents depend on whether you are an internal user from U-M, an external user from another academic institution, or an external user from a non-academic institution. If you are starting a new project or are part of a research group or company that hasn’t used LNF before, please contact us at info@LNF.umich.edu to discuss your research project and processing needs before starting the steps listed at https://lnf.engin.umich.edu/getting-access/.

Available Resources

LNF staff are available for assistance to any lab user for process development or troubleshooting. The most effective way for lab users to initiate the process is to create a Helpdesk ticket, either through the scheduler if the request is associated with a single interlocked tool, or through the Help > Helpdesk section of the LNF Online Services otherwise. PIs can also initiate the process themselves by contacting Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director sandrine@umich.edu.

The LNF User Committee also provides assistance to lab users through some of their programs such as the Senior Users and/or the monthly Office Hours.

LNF staff have a lot of expertise with high-vacuum systems and specialized equipment or infrastructure for semiconductor research. Occasional support can be provided to non-LNF laboratories, based on availability of resources. If you have such specific needs, please contact Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director sandrine@umich.edu.

If you are are a U-M CoE PI working with toxic gases in your own laboratory, LNF staff can provide support through a College of Engineering program. Contact Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director sandrine@umich.edu for more details.

If you are a U-M PI and thinking about purchasing and installing nanofabrication-related equipment in your own laboratory, we encourage you to talk to LNF staff to ensure adequate infrastructure and support and avoid any unnecessary capability duplication.

Most Recent "Update Essentials" Emails from LNF Directors

These bi-monthly newsletters provide key information for LNF faculty and PIs. LNF individual users (students, post-doc, researchers) receive our more detailed “LNF Monthly Updates”, which are archived here. If you are a PI with users who have access to the LNF, you will automatically receive these newsletter, but otherwise, if you wish to be added to the distribution list, please reach out to Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director sandrine@umich.edu.

Capabilities and Recent Additions

Here are a few recent additions to the LNF toolset. Our complete capabilities are described in a dedicated section of the wiki and the complete LNF equipment list is available here.

Financial Information

LNF users are charged monthly based on their activity in the LNF. Charges include equipment usage as well as daily and per-entry fees. The current fee schedules are available at the following links for internal users, external academic users and non-academic and foreign users.
Additional information is provided below about the detailed billing procedure for internal users whose fees are charged to a U-M shortcode, and available charge reduction programs.

Information and Material for Proposals

Below are documents and information that can be useful to PIs when preparing proposals that involve LNF usage. If you have any additional question or need anything that is not included below, please reach out to Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director sandrine@umich.edu.

Links to Online Platforms

The links below are online platforms that provide data and information to the LNF community.

Still have questions? Need something else?