Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Re-opening the nmRC during COVID-19 - Phase One

We have recently changed our procedures to ensure that we prioritise the safety of our community and have followed advice from the University, UK government and NHS relating to COVID-19.

The nmRC re-opened on Monday 13th July 2020 and was in Phase One of our re-opening plans in which the building was restricted to nmRC staff only, with the exception of sample drop off and pick up by internal researchers. Outlined below are the steps of what to do if you require work in the nmRC in the near future:

  1.  Please contact one of the following members of nmRC staff to discuss the work (abbreviations listed at bottom of this article)
    • EBL and ellipsometry (nanofab facility) Richard Cousins
    • FEG-SEM - Martin Roe (If EBSD also required please contact Nigel Neate)
    • TEM - Michael Fay
    • FIB-SEM (including cryo-FIB-SEM), cryo-SEM - Chris Parmenter
    • HPF, cryo-OrbiSIMS, cryo-TEM - Julie Watts
    • Orbi/ToF-SIMS - David Scurr
    • SEM including MLA and EPMA - Elisabeth Steer
    • ESEM and ultramicrotomy - Nicola Weston
    • Raman Spectroscopy - Graham Rance
    • XPS Craig Stoppiello
    • Please note that the team will need information regarding the sample material, how it is prepared, how many samples there are, when will it be ready for analysis and a description of why and when the work needs to be completed so that they can make a decision regarding prioritisation. 
  2. If the work has been agreed, please register on our online booking system (if you do not already have an account)
  3. We require that two documents are completed: 1) An nmRC Access Agreement and 2) A sample analysis risk assessment. Both documents can be found in the Documents tab in the PPMS website, the sample analysis risk assessment is a template and should be modified for your own samples. 
  4. Please pre-arrange a date and time to drop off your samples with the nmRC staff member, you must also make sure this time is available on our new 'Sample Drop Off' booking system (once registered on PPMS, you will see this booking system listed under the 'Book' section). Please book out the required 15 minute slot and attach 1) the nmRC Access Agreement and 2) A sample analysis risk assessment to the booking as instructed.
  5. To drop off your samples, please come to the A Floor Foyer in the Cripps South Building (nmRC) and drop off your sample in the pigeonhole of the staff member you have been talking to. Please only come to the nmRC during the time you have booked on PPMS. Please note that the building is card access only! If you do not have card access to the nmRC, please inform the member of staff you are in contact with. Once you have delivered the samples, please leave the building promptly. 

Following Phase One, we will move into Phase Two of the re-opening. During Phase Two, we will allow experienced autonomous internal users of instrumentation to conduct work in the building. This will be at the discretion of nmRC staff and more detailed guidance will be published at this time. 


EBL = Electron Beam Lithography, FEG = Field Emission Gun (high resolution), SEM = Scanning Electron Microscopy, TEM =  Transmission Electron Microscopy, FIB = Focussed Ion Beam, HPF = High Pressure Freezer, SIMS = Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (either Time of Flight or OrbiTrap Mass spectrometers), EMPA = Electron Probe Micro Analysis, MLA = Mineral Liberation Analysis, ESEM = Environmental SEM, XPS = X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Cryo = work performed under cryogenic conditions.

Posted on Thursday 27th August 2020

Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Cripps South building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 6340
email: nmrcenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk