User Policy and Information

All CNS facility Users must follow all applicable Harvard University policies. For more information, please see Harvard’s website:

Only fully enrolled, active Users who are qualified by CNS technical staff are allowed to use CNS equipment. Click here for instructions on how to enroll as a Harvard affiliated user. Click here for instructions on how to enroll as a non-Harvard affiliated user.

Users must be enrolled in the CNS User Program in order to use any facilities or tools at the Center for Nanoscale Systems.

CNS facility Users are required to acknowledge the Center for Nanoscale Systems and the NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure  (NNCI) in any publications or presentations that result from work performed in whole or in part in the CNS facilities, or with assistance from CNS staff. Click here to see the recommended language for CNS and NNCI publication acknowledgement.

All publications, presentations, journal covers and patents resulting from the use of CNS facilities or through assistance from CNS staff must be reported to the CNS administrative office.  Listing of publications, etc. may be entered via the CNS User Portal webpage.  A reprint of the publication must also be delivered to the CNS Administrative Office, LISE 304.

Any work done, or services provided, by CNS and its employees are on a reasonable effort basis. Users accept ultimate responsibility for the progress and results of their project.

Users must operate CNS facilities and tools in a safe and professional manner, consistent with the operating instructions.

Harvard Users must take Harvard’s Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Basic Lab Safety Training in order to use any CNS facilities. Please see the EH&S website for information regarding training schedules.

CNS reserves the right to prohibit further use of facilities, if CNS, in its sole discretion, believes that a User is not properly trained or is working in an unsafe manner.

Nanofabrication Facility Users must follow the Cleanroom User Protocol (CUP) regarding dress code, garment use/reuse/storage, handling materials and tools, transporting and handling chemicals, emergency response and evacuation, equipment sharing, maintenance and housekeeping. 

Training and qualification for all CNS facilities and tools must be conducted by CNS staff. Training and qualification are both required in order to gain User Status for a particular facility or tool.

Training consists solely of the observation of facility/tool operation. Qualification is the verification of training by CNS staff watching the User operate the facility or tool.

Upon the completion of training and qualification, User privileges will be granted for that particular facility or tool.

Please note that certain facilities/tools require that initial sessions by those with User privileges either be operator assisted or limited to normal business hours. The CNS staff member in charge of each tool has the final authority over granting User privileges, when any initial session requirements are met.

If the facility or tool is on the CNS Online Scheduling Tool, advance time reservation is available for Users with User privileges (except in facilities that require initial assistance. In those instances, the CNS staff member must reserve the time).

An advance reservation is recommended for facilities or tools that are listed on the CNS Scheduling Tool.

Users are prohibited from scheduling time online for another user, even if they are members of the same research group or have the same affiliation.

Only those with active User Status are allowed to schedule and use equipment.

An official qualification is required even if the person is a qualified user of a similar tool at another facility or institution.

All Users are prohibited from giving out their Scheduling Tool User Name and/or Password for use by other users, or from giving other users access to their HUID or generic facilities access card for any card reader access controlled CNS facilities. CNS reserves the right to deny future access to any User in the event of a willful breach of this policy.

Retraining and/or qualification may be required if a User has not used a specific facility for an extended period of time. It is the decision of CNS staff to determine the need for retraining and qualification.

Users are required to enter in CLEAN all information requested.

Users are required to note any problems or irregularities with the facility or tool(s) operation during their session in CLEAN. This is to allow CNS staff to respond quickly to problems and keep issues from getting worse and causing more down time.

Absolutely no food or drink should be brought into a CNS facility or consumed while using any CNS tool.

Certain Imaging and Analysis facilities are located in building or rooms that require card reader access or iris scanner access. For Harvard Users, their HUID is used as access card, non-Harvard Users must visit the CNS Administrative Office at LISE 304 in order to obtain a swipe card.

To physically enter any CNS lab space, a person must be a fully enrolled, active CNS User, who has been both trained and qualified by a CNS technical staff member on the instrument in that room and/or lab/facility that is to be entered. This is true even if an entry is only for observation.

There are certain facilities that have special safety considerations (laser, x-ray etc.) and require special training and /or certification requirements.  Please take a look at the specific tool's webpage for information on any special requirements for specific tools.

CNS, in conjunction with Harvard Environmental Health & Safety, maintains a MSDS database.  If you wish to bring any chemicals into a CNS lab space that is not listed on the MSDS database, you must complete a Material Request Form.

CNS reserves the right to amend, abridge, alter, delete, add, or change any CNS policies as deemed necessary by CNS with or without any written notification.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Harvard or CNS policy, please feel free to send any questions to the CNS Administrative Office at