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

Contents

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

The LNF staff team includes many staff members with deep knowledge of process integration, especially in the User Services group. The group is responsible for helping and mentoring new users who start their work in the LNF, but staff members are also available to support existing users with process troubleshooting and process development. The most effective way for LNF users to initiate the process is to create a Helpdesk ticket, either through the scheduler if the request is about a single tool, or through the Help section of the Online Services otherwise. PIs can also initiate the process themselves by contacting Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director at sandrine@umich.edu, and can be added as collaborators to Helpdesk tickets to stay informed if desired. Please contact us as soon as you have any concerns or questions about your fabrication process. The earlier the better, do not wait for the situation to become a crisis!

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

LNF staff have lots of experience with high-vacuum and specialized equipment or infrastructure for semiconductor-related research. Occasional support can be provided to non-LNF laboratories - if interested, PIs should contact Sandrine Martin, LNF managing director at sandrine@umich.edu.

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

If you are a U-M PI and considering purchasing and installing nanofabrication equipment in your own laboratory, we encourage you to talk to LNF staff to ensure adequate infrastructure and support.

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

Financial Information

The current fee schedules are available on our website, and the following direct links for internal users, external academic users and non-academic and foreign users. PIs receive monthly reports about estimated charges (per user, per shortcode) for their group for the previous month. These reports are sent by email automatically to all U-M PIs, and can be sent to external PIs upon request. If PIs want more information about LNF usage (specific equipment, hours etc) for their group members, that information is available through the LNF Online Services, with instructions on the LNF wiki.
Additional information is provided below about the detailed billing procedure and available charge reduction programs for internal users whose fees are charged to a U-M shortcode.

Information and Material for Proposals

Links to Online Platforms

General LNF Policies

LNF policies are presented to new lab users as part of their user intake. A summary list is available on the LNF wiki. Direct links to a few policies that may be of interest to PIs are below:

Still have questions? Need something else?