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Operating Hours

The NanoFab is open and staffed weekdays from 7:00 AM to midnight on days that the NIST campus is open (i.e. other than federal holidays and temporary closures).  Access is possible 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, subject to NanoFab manager approval and NIST security policies.  We coordinate with each researcher to ensure that work can be scheduled during permitted access times, which depend on a number of factors. 

Requesting Weekend and After-Hours Access

After hour’s access can be granted by the NanoFab manager or his/her designee.   This ensures that any facilities maintenance scheduled can be taken into consideration.  The NanoFab manger or approving Staff member will notify the user and the User’s office that the request has been approved or denied.

Procedure for Requesting After-Hours Access

Weekend access to the cleanroom must be requested from the NanoFab manager by 4 PM on the preceding Friday to allow the Users Office to program the access control system to grant the Users access.  Requests should be submitted to the NanoFab manager and User Office by email. 

On weekdays, afterhours access (midnight – 7:00 AM) can be granted by the NanoFab Manager or by second-shift NanoFab staff.

Buddy System Policies

The Buddy System is the practice of not working alone.  It is an important element of the NanoFab Safety program whereby users can access NanoFab resources after hours as long as 1 or more NanoFab users accompany them. The following rules apply.
  • Buddies must be approved NanoFab users with current safety training certifications.
  • When working under the buddy system, both (all) users must be working close enough to each other that each user's call out for the others assistance can be heard.
  • No user should be left unaccompanied for longer than 5 minutes.
  • In cases where one of the users needs to temporarily leave the area, the remaining user should cease any activity with risk of injury or mishap until their buddy returns.
  • Failure to comply with the Buddy System policies may result in suspension or revocation of NanoFab privileges.

Schedule for the Winter Holiday Period

NIST is closed for the Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's holidays. Below is a summary of the NanoFab access schedule during the 2014 winter holiday period.  When the NanoFab is closed, after-hours access using the buddy system is available with advance approval.  






WednesdayNovember 26th Day Before Thanksgiving
7 am to 10 pm
ThursdayNovember 27th
Thanksgiving Day
FridayNovember 28th Day After Thanksgiving7 am to 10 pm


December 24th

Christmas Eve

7 am to 3 pm


December 25th

Christmas Day



December 26th

Day After Christmas



December 31st

New Year’s Eve

7 am to 3 pm


January 1st

New Year’s Day