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NanoFab Training Certification and Scheduling

Topic List (click to go to topic):

  • Overview: An overview of the NanoFab's safety program.
  • Determining What Training is Required: Determine what training you need, depending on your experience and access requirements
  • Certification and how to Schedule Training: Description of general user, safety, and tool certification and how to schedule training.
  • Charges and Cancellations: Policies regarding individual and group training charges, performing work during training, and cancellations.

Certification and how to Schedule Training

Completing Training Certification

A trainee becomes a certified NanoFab User after:

  • Completing the required training.
  • Submitting a graded, passing safety test for access as a cleanroom user, a NanoFab contractor, or a NanoFab external tool user.
  • Completing the NanoFab orientation.
  • Submitting the completed orientation checklist, signed by staff.

Note that this training makes one a certified NanoFab User but tool and cleanroom access will also depend on the project status. All user agreements and funding documents must be in place prior to using any NanoFab tool inside or outside the cleanroom.

Tool Certification

A certified NanoFab User can be trained and certified on NanoFab tools associated with their training level. In short, a level 2 User can get trained on tools outside the cleanroom and level 3 Users can get trained on any NanoFab tool, inside or outside the cleanroom. Certification is required in order to reserve and enable any interlocked tool. See Charges and Cancellations for information about policies regarding individual and group training charges, performing work during training, and cancellations.

Getting certified

Tool certification is accomplished by having the appropriate NanoFab Staff enter the tool into the Users Coral profile. It is at the sole discretion of the NanoFab staff to approve a user's tool certification. To get certified the user must demonstrate for the appropriate NanoFab engineer, that they can use the tool properly, safely, and responsibly.


NanoFab staff can de-certify and re-certify users at their discretion. If a user demonstrates that they have forgotten their training due to an extended period of inactivity, or had their privileges revoked due to disciplinary action or other rule violations, the user must demonstrate that corrective action has been taken and that it was successful. The user can request recertification which may entail a tool proficiency evaluation.

Requesting and scheduling training

All persons performing work inside NanoFab laboratory space must complete the appropriate safety training. The training is comprised of an online certification process followed by a hands on lab tour. Training is offered to new customers who have completed the NanoFab project application process, or who are joining an existing project. Registration for training also requires NIST campus access.

New user general orientation

The first part of the Safety Orientation must be completed on-line prior to your scheduled lab tour. Successful completion of the online training will generate a certificate. The certificate must be either saved as a PDF and e-mailed to nanofabuseroffice [at] (nanofabuseroffice[at]nist[dot]gov) or printed and brought with you on the day of your schedule tour.

The hands on training is held every Monday morning. You must register in advance. To do so please select an upcoming date that fits your schedule and email us so we can add you to the list for that day and forward you the online training information.
The lab tour has two levels:

Level 1: This orientation is intended for those persons that will be using NanoFab resources outside the cleanroom only. Orientation includes:

  • Everything in NanoFab Orientation Level 1 except NanoFab specific items.
  • Scheduling tool training with NanoFab staff
  • How to use the CORAL software for lab access and tool login.

Level 2: This orientation is intended for those persons that will be using NanoFab resources inside and outside the cleanroom. Orientation includes:

  • Everything in NanoFab Orientation Level 2.
  • NanoFab specific emergency and chemical handling procedures.

Cleanroom safety certification

Customers requiring access to tools and/or processes located in in the NanoFab Cleanroom must achieve, and maintain, active cleanroom certification. Cleanroom certification is obtained by way of passing a comprehensive safety exam. 

Individual tool training

Once a customer has successfully completed the appropriate general training they are ready to begin their project in the NanoFab. Doing so most always requires the use of specific tools and processes within the facility. Each tool and process requires individual certification for independent use. Tool certifications are performed by the NanoFab staff member assigned to the tool. A list of tool owners and scheduling information can be found here. In most cases both the tool time and engineering charge are waived for the time spent while our engineers are certifying that a new user is proficient in operating a NanoFab tool. However, when being certified on equipment located in the Cleanroom customers are responsible for paying the General Cleanroom Access Rate. With few exceptions, Individual tool certifications are performed using generic test substrates. With prior approval of the trainer tool certifications may be performed using customer provided samples but will be considered process assistance, applicable tool and engineering charges will apply.

Sometimes after completion of the training session a customer may not have reached a level of proficiency on the equipment that either they or the tool owner are comfortable with. In these cases the customer may choose either to schedule an additional training session(s) on the equipment or, if available, request the staff member perform the processing for them as service work. However, in either case applicable tool and engineering charges will apply.

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Created April 26, 2013, Updated June 15, 2017