Instrumentation within the MCL is open access to properly trained users (24/7). To ensure proper and safe use of the instrumentation, the MCL staff provides training on an as needed basis for each instrument throughout the year. Interested students may be trained either individually or in small groups. When instructional training is complete, students undergo a brief probationary period where access is allowed during normal working hours while assistance is available. When mastery of the technique is sufficiently demonstrated (including sample preparation requirements), open access to the instrument is granted.
In addition to training, the MCL staff also provides limited analytical services to users with occasional or onetime needs and for whom more intensive training would not be suitable. In addition, the MCL staff are available for consultation on experimental design and methods development for specific characterization needs and capabilities and provides a clearing house of information about external sources of experimental capabilities. Finally, the MCL maintains NIST traceable SRMs for chromatographic, spectroscopic, and physical property measurements for use as calibration standards. These standards are used to ensure the proper working order of instrumentation and as aids in troubleshooting problems.