XRF User Policy

X-Ray Facility Procedures and Policies

Adopted August 17, 2011

Attention Users | Instruction in XRD Use | Responsibilities of Users | Restricted and Unrestricted Users | Laboratory Rules


  • The XRD facility is now a part of the Applied Chemical and Morphological Analysis Laboratory (ACMAL) facilities.
  • Carefully read this document so you understand the rules. Violating the rules can result in a loss of privileges to use the facilities.
  • If a problem occurs while you are using the equipment or software it is important to report the problem as soon as possible, and to document all of your activities so we can understand how the problem occurred. We are all professionals, I have no intention of chastising people; however it is very important to understand how problems occur so that we can prevent them from happening again.
  • If you’re not sure how to do something please ask. You are not expected to know everything, but you are expected to find out how to do something before you do it. This will help minimize costly mistakes.


  • Instruction in the operation of the XRD systems will be performed only by Ed Laitila. No exceptions!
  • Experienced users can instruct each other in the use of the data analysis software if I am not available, but it is recommended to still consult with me in advance.


  • To use the equipment in a manner that promotes long life of the equipment and particularly the expensive components (e.g., reason for grouping runs is to leave x-rays on for extended period).
  • Users must cooperate and work with each other in terms of scheduling time.
  • To run well thought out experiments; there is a value in not rushing into experiments. Specifically: understand what you want to learn, be specific, understand your material. I do not know all the answers, so recognize that some things may take a long time to finally understand.
  • To gain the proper background, including an understanding of the theory, before you decide to use these techniques. This is for your benefit as well as mine! There are several regularly-offered academic courses (e.g., MY3200, MY5260) to provide a good background.


  • Only the people who are qualified, responsible, and have taken the proper training courses will be designated as UNRESTRICTED USERS: note that this designation carries additional responsibilities to use the equipment in a safe and efficient manner. In addition, these users obtain a key to the laboratory allowing 24 hr access.
  • Having run some of the equipment does not automatically qualify you as an UNRESTRICTED USER, you will be a RESTRICTED USER until I feel you are properly qualified.
  • RESTRICTED USERS can only run scans under my supervision.
  • Users are prohibited from doing XRD analysis for persons other that themselves without approval from the X-Ray Facility Manager.


  • Pack all powder samples over a piece of paper to catch any spills. All residue materials left on the benches or tables will be discarded. In addition to the need for a clean laboratory, some powders are hazardous.
  • Do not leave samples in the sample holders unless you will be running them again in a very short period of time.
  • All powder samples left in the laboratory should be in a container with identification on the container. Unidentified samples will be discarded.
  • Please clean sample holders, glass slides, packing rams, and the work area where the sample was prepared.
  • Do not remove sample holders or sample preparation equipment from the laboratory. This includes spatulas, squeeze bottles, packing rams, glass slides, etc. Other users depend on this equipment being available. If you feel it is necessary to have your own holder (or your powders are corrosive) you must have one special made.