Facility usage information

facts workflow

The equipment in FACTS is open to use by all NTU users

Equipment can be accessed either after a training course or with the assistance of one of our FACTS scientists.

  • Equipment training allows users to operate our instruments independently.
    If instrumental work is going to be regular, or there are a fair amount of samples, training is recommended.
    Users will be required to clear safety requirements and pass a theory quiz before practical training and assessment.
    >> Please see the [ Information for new users on equipment training ].

  • Usage with assistance Users can opt for our scientists to operate the instruments for them. This is best if equipment usage is going to be one-off, irregular, or if there just a few samples.
    Charges for usage with assistance are for the technical operation of our instruments and do not include data analysis. Also we cannot guarantee to get any results from your sample.

Users are welcome to consult our staff scientists for further advice on their characterisation work.

For users who require usage with assistance, or wish to seek advice on whether equipment training is necessary, please click [ here ] to submit a new user questionnaire with your queries and any reference literature to us, or email at [email protected]

Instrument reservation

Once trained, users can book instruments online using the Facility Online Manager (FOM).

  • Instrument reservation is on a first come first serve basis.
    All users, whether from NTU schools or outside NTU, have equal access for instrument booking.
  • There are no priority booking times, reserved timeslots or priority users except for the special circumstances listed below.
  • If urgent access is required please contact us.
    This will be evaluated on a case by case basis and will be subject to the availability of instrument scientists and suitable timeslots. Such sessions will be charged at twice the normal rate.
  • Likewise sessions for experiments that require long acquisition times can be arranged by contacting us.
  • If you find you are unable to use your booked sessions please cancel as soon as possible to allow others to make use of the instrument time.
    Usage charges will still apply for sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice or if users fail to turn up.

    Instrument charges

    There are charges for using FACTS instruments to cover the maintenance costs associated with running the instruments.

    • Please see this link for our list of equipment usage charges.
    • NTU users are charged at a lower rate as FACTS is a university shared facility .
    • The charges are the same for all NTU users regardless of which School they are from.
    • Higher costs apply for usage with assistance.
    • Users must comply with FACTS policies, university health, safety and environment related guidelines, standard operating procedures etc, as indicated in the FACTS Lab General Usage Briefing notes.
    • Users must conduct a Risk Assessment for their work, especially for sample handling in FACTS. Any hazardous samples must be reported to FACTS staff before such samples enter the premises.
    • Scanning electron microscopy and EBSD (Updated on 25-Oct-2019) [PDF]
    • Transmission electron microscopy (Updated on 23-Oct-2013): [PDF]
    • X-ray diffraction (Updated on 24-Dec-2018): [PDF]
    • Focussed ion beam (Updated on 10-Oct-2018):  [PDF]
    • Ultramicrotome (Updated on 23-Oct-2013): [PDF]
    • Users must exercise care when using the facility. This is to avoid damage to the instruments and instrument downtime. FACTS may remove instrument access from any user who through negligence or otherwise, cause downtime or inconvenience to other users.
    • If a user causes downtime or damage in any form, an incident report should be submitted to FACTS detailing the event and root cause. This should be endorsed by the Supervisor or PI of the user.
    • Users must bear the cost of any resultant damage and may be barred from the facility if misuse occurs.

    Users are responsible for their own data generated with the instruments. FACTS will not be responsible for any data loss. In this regards, users are recommended to export their data out to their personal cloud storage immediately after data capture. Removable drives are not permitted.

    Please acknowledge our facility in any scientific publication or oral presentation where the data presented are collected from our instruments or with the help of FACTS’s staff.

    Please see this link for more information on publication acknowledgement.