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NanoFab Non-NIST Project Application

NanoFab Application Process for non-NIST users

1. Speak to the NanoFab Manager

This step provides you with an opportunity to go over the project goals and process flow to ensure that the NanoFab has the capabilities (equipment and processes) to complete the work.

2. Submit a project application

We need to collect some information on the work you are planning to do in the NanoFab. We do this both for internal record keeping and to ensure that the operations staff is prepared to meet your needs. Submit a CNST NanoFab Project Application via email to the NanoFab manager at nfmanage [at] (nfmanage[at]nist[dot]gov). For determining your budget, you can link to the NanoFab rate sheet here. Please use Adobe Acrobat on a Windows based PC platform to fill and save the CNST NanoFab Project Application. Other operating systems used to generate the CNST NanoFab Project Application PDF have been incompatible with our database systems.

3. Tell us about the people you plan to send to the NanoFab

Everyone working in the NanoFab cleanroom is required to have experience with basic NanoFab equipment and wet chemical processing. Therefore, we ask that the PI provide NanoFab processing experience information about each user they plan to send to the NanoFab. Please email each user’s experience information to the NanoFab manager at nfmanage [at] (nfmanage[at]nist[dot]gov).

Principal investigators may add or remove users on an existing, active, NanoFab project at any time during its duration. To add or remove users from a project, the project PI shall send the NanoFab User Office an email at nanofabuseroffice [at] (nanofabuseroffice[at]nist[dot]gov) with the project number and the user names or NEMO IDs of the users they want to add or remove.

4. Site Access for CNST NanoFab External Users

All users coming to the NIST campus require a site badge. To obtain a NIST site badge, all CNST NanoFab External Users must complete one of the following forms (depending upon your status in the U.S.) and fax it to 301-975-8761 or send it via secure e-mail.

  • U.S. Citizens - Complete the Domestic Guest Researchers form.  Here is the link to the form - Domestic Guest Researchers. Please note that you do not need to complete the “Education Information, Educational Institution” section of the form. 
  • Green card holders, permanent residents and foreign nationals - Complete the Foreign Guest Researcher form.  Here is the link to the form - Foreign Guest Researchers.  Please note that you do not need to complete the “Education Information, Educational Institution” section of the form. The Certificate of Insurance is also not required for NanoFab Users.

Individuals requesting site badges will be required to show proof of identity including citizenship and visa status, be fingerprinted, and undergo a criminal background check. Processing times for site badges vary based on citizenship and immigration status but most requests can be completed in about four weeks. Campus access is allowed Monday through Friday from 6 am to 7 pm except for federal holidays or campus closures. 

5. Fund your project

CNST requires that your initial payment authorization is sufficient to cover the estimated expenses for the first month of your project. However, you will only be billed for the actual expense incurred. We operate on a monthly billing cycle and will provide a report of your project’s NanoFab costs at the close of each billing cycle.

Please submit your credit card payment using
Type NIST in the search field and select NIST Miscellaneous Payment Form.

When completing the Payment Information section of the payment form

  • Enter "NIST NanoFab" for the Receivable/Invoice Number
  • Choose "Other" for the Purpose of Payment, and 
  • Enter the NanoFab project number (Nxx.xxxx) so that we can link the payment to the proper account.

You should get a payment confirmation from Please forward that to cnstacct [at] (cnstacct[at]nist[dot]gov) to expedite recording the payment in the Nanofab system.

6. Facility Use Agreement

The NanoFab uses two types of facilities use agreements (FUAs) for external users only. The agreements define the period of use, requirements for payment and insurance, responsibilities for damages and injuries, various liabilities (including those associated with information disclosure), and other terms of use, such as the requirement that the use of the NanoFab be acknowledged in publications.

  • Facilities Use Agreement for Non-Proprietary Research: For non-proprietary NanoFab projects from institutions that are not federal agencies where the processes and procedures used in the NanoFab and all results may be made freely available to the public, and the users intend to publish the results.
  • Facilities Use Agreement for Non-collaborative Proprietary Research: For proprietary NanoFab projects when the external users do not want the results or other aspects of the project disclosed to the public, and are therefore required to perform the project directly and exclusively by the external users. Note that this agreement explicitly declares that the "USER will retain the entire right, title, and interest to any invention solely created by USER's employee(s) resulting from the proprietary measurements performed under this Agreement."

7. Complete the safety training

The NanoFab requires an online safety training and an in-person orientation walk through. The online safety training that takes about 2 hours to complete.  The in-person orientation is available every week on Monday morning and takes about 2 hours to complete; if NIST is closed on a Monday, then orientation will be offered on Tuesday. Please contact the nanofabuseroffice [at] (NanoFab User Office) to schedule your online and in-person training.

8. Acknowledge the CNST NanoFab in your publications and presentations

User facilities are responsible for demonstrating quantitatively their service to the research community. Hence, they require as a condition of service that users acknowledge the use of the facility and report the output of their work to the facility. Users agree to include the acknowledgement "Research performed in part at the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology" in all publications and, if acknowledgements are given, in presentations as well. 

9. Renew your project annually

Ninety days before the expiration date of your project, you will receive information for how to renew your project.

10. Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding intellectual property and proprietary work can be found here.

Created February 14, 2020, Updated September 5, 2023