Instrumentation Training Statement

The Core Analytical Facility is proud to offer hands-on access to our major instruments for students, post-docs, and faculty. Each user must be trained by a member of the CAF staff and can only be an instrument user after they have completed training.

There are two categories of users. A novice user has just completed training and has limited experience with the instrument. The novice user may only use the instrument during regular hours when CAF staff are present. At the discretion of CAF staff, as the user gains experience and demonstrates the user can run the instrument in a responsible manner, the user may become a journeyman and can use the instrument at any time.

New users will be trained on the proper operation of the instrument. A trainee will learn to properly load samples, start the instrument, and obtain results (images, spectra, or diffraction curves, depending on the instrument). The trainees will learn how to transfer their data from the resident computer. They will learn how to remove their samples and how to shut down the instrument, leaving it in proper operating condition for the next user. The trainee will learn to avoid misusing the instrument.

There will be little or no instruction on the theoretical principles, the physics that underpin the instruments, and how to interpret the data. The departments associated with CAF, in particular chemistry and metallurgy, have formal graduate courses on Surface Analytical Chemistry, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy.

On the Training page, there are training protocols for each instrument and the fees for user training. To get started, the candidate for training must complete a form and arrange to have the fee for training submitted to CAF.

CAF aspires to be a national center of excellence for multi-scale materials characterization. We wish you success in using our instruments for your research needs.

Dr. Gregory Thompson
Executive Director, Alabama Materials Institute