Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NanoFab External User Information

                         How to Become a User

(For External "Facility Users")

(NIST Staff and Guest Researchers go to a different page)

  • There are three types of CNST NanoFab Users:

    • Remote Users are people who do not wish to operate the equipment themselves, but instead specify work to be performed by NanoFab Staff (at an additional hourly rate).  They must still receive an orientation for the NanoFab which will be sent by email.

    • NanoFab Users are persons certified to operate NanoFab equipment located outside the cleanroom. They are required to take the NanoFab orientation and training specific to the instruments they will be using.

    • Cleanroom Users are persons who are certified to operate equipment located inside the cleanroom.  In combination with the orientation, they receive additional training on cleanroom safety and cleanroom operational procedures. Before gaining access to the cleanroom they must pass a safety exam.  They will also be required to take training specific to the instruments they will be using.

How to Become a Facility User
  • Informally discuss the project with the NanoFab Manager.

  • Submit project description via email to the NanoFab Manager. Download the NanoFab Project Application from the Manuals and Forms page.

  • The application will be reviewed by the NanoFab Technical Review Committee for issues of safety and feasibility. If safety or feasibility concerns are found they will be discussed with the proposer, who may then submit a modified application.  Accepted Projects are valid for one year.

  • The application will also be reviewed by the NanoFab Mission Review Committee for issues of alignment with the NIST mission (for Principle Investigators [PIs] who are NIST staff) or the CNST Mission (for PIs who are Guest Researchers and External users).  Non-proprietary research that furthers the cause of the stated mission is eligible for a partial fee waiver. The mission of the CNST is to provide measurement methods, standards and technology to support all phases of nanotechnology development from discovery to production. Proprietary research is not eligible for the fee waiver.

  • The User will receive a set of required forms and must return all forms and a signed User agreement to set up financial and registration accounts.

  • Prospective facility users who plan on traveling to the CNST to conduct research on site will be required to provide sufficient information to verify their identity as requested by the NIST Office of Security.  Some users may be required to provide additional information based on their citizenship, visa status, length of visit, or the nature of the facility use agreement with the CNST.

  • NanoFab Users can then schedule a site visit to receive their basic and equipment training.  Usually work can begin the same day.  Contact Jeff Pasternak in the CNST NanoFab Facility User Office for further instructions.
    • To help new external users establish a working relationship with the CNST, the CNST-University of Maryland Cooperative Program will provide competitively awarded travel grants for approved users of the CNST facilities.  More information is available on the travel grant webpage.

  • Remote Users can then obtain Nanofabrication services by discussing their needs with the NanoFab Manager.

  • Use of NanoFab equipment outside the cleanroom requires an orientation given by the NanoFab Facility Safety Coordinator.

  • Cleanroom Users can then schedule a site visit to receive their training.  Cleanroom Users must take the Start-up Orientation Program given periodically by the NanoFab Facility Safety Coordinator.

    • The Start-up Orientation Program is a 3 hour training session which covers Cleanroom Safety and Cleanroom Operational Procedures.
    • A written safety examination must be completed with a passing grade for Cleanroom access.
    • The training and Exam must be renewed annually.
    • Contact the Jeff Pasternak in the CNST NanoFab Facility User Office to take the exam.

  • An accepted project is valid for one year.  If it has not been finished, a new project application must be submitted and reviewed.

User Fees

For more information, contact the NanoFab Manager.


Participants agree to acknowledge the CNST in publications resulting from this work with the following statement: "Research performed in part at the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology."  (Note that this acknowledgment is not needed if at least one author is affiliated with the CNST and listed as so in the byline.)


These resources will be made available to External Users soon, until then please contact the NanoFab Manager.  Please check back later.

  • NanoFab Forum - We are developing a user bulletin board system for discussion of topics related to the CNST NanoFab.  Anyone at NIST may browse the forum, but posting is limited to NanoFab users.

  • Coral Software - The Coral Software System is used for managing authorization, user entry and equipment use for the NanoFab.

  • xReporter - xReporter provides various reports for viewing equipment usage and charge information.

Created January 29, 2010, Updated October 26, 2013