Safety & Emergency

ristricted entry signEach lab member will be trained in protocols regarding lab entry, chemical storage, disposal of materials, limiting exposure and personal protective equipment (PPE) as described in the chemical hygiene plan. Lab members must also take additional training in order to handle extremely hazardous chemicals such as concentrated acids, oxidizers, and toxins. Supplementary and refresher training is also available, and well utilized by many lab members.

In order to gain access into the cleanroom, users are required to take and pass a short test on our Policies and Procedures

Bringing Chemicals into the Lab

The person (or persons) bringing a new chemical substance into the lab must provide the following to CNM2 Staff:

  1. Storage Compatability of ChemicalsA current Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemical (the only exception is when the chemical substance has been specifically synthesized for a research project);
  2. A completed Microfabrication Personal Chemical form. After submitting this form, depending on the hazards associated with your process, an additional SOP may be requested. Upon staff approval, the chemical will be marked with a green label. If the chemical has been approved previously, there is no need to resubmit this form but please obtain another green label for the chemical. Any chemicals that do not have the label will be disposed of, as this poses additional hazards to users and accumulates space.

Within 24 hours, CNM2 Staff will approve the chemical’s introduction to the facility, or schedule a meeting to clarify remaining issues. Once safety issues have been addressed to the satisfaction of the user and the facility manager, the chemical can be brought in.

Incident Reports

All near-miss or any accidents should be reported to staff ASAP. The link above can be used to describe additional details about the event.

You can also review the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the concentrated chemicals available at CNM2. 

Chemical Use

The chemicals used in the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing are extremely hazardous. Table 1 below lists some of the more common chemicals used in the lab and their concentrations..

Table 1: Concentrations of Common Chemicals in the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing
Chemical Type Chemical Concentration
Acids Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) 49%
Hydrochloric Acid 40%
Sulfuric Acid 96%
Phosphoric Acid 86%
Nitric Acid 68%
Acetic Acid 100%
Bases Ammonium Hydroxide 29%
Potassium Hydroxide 45%
Oxidizers Hydrogen Peroxide 30%
Nitric Acid 68%
Fluorides Ammonium Fluoride 66%
Buffered Oxide Etch 50%
Hydrofluoric Acid 49%
Acetone 100%
Isopropanol 100%
Methanol 100%
Toluene 100%

These concentrations, necessary for microfabrication, are much higher than those found in conventional undergraduate chemistry labs. Many of these chemicals can cause severe damage to human tissue. Therefore, you must be alert and cautious when using these chemicals to avoid all contact with them. When you follow the safety procedures below, your risk of injury will be small. Tables 2 and 3 below show some common corrosive and flammable chemicals, respectively, used in the lab.

Table 2: Some Corrosives Used in the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing
Chemical Type Chemical
Ammonium Fluoride
Ammonium Hydroxide
Buffered Oxide Etch; (BOE)
Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrofluoric Acid
Phosphoric Acid
Potassium Hydroxide
Resist Developer
Sulfuric Acid


Table 3: Some Flammable Chemicals Used in the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing
Chemical Type Chemical
Resist Primer






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