Standard Operating Procedures

All the process systems in ACMAL have standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs are very detailed documents that describe step-by-step the procedure regarding equipment operation or chemical process. SOPs exist to aid the user, but are not substitutes for formal, required training. An SOP includes:

  • Possible hazards
  • Required personal protective equipment
  • Step-by-step process for using the tool or doing the process
  • Known-to-work process recipes
  • Details that users tend to forget
  • Emergency procedures

Formal Training

SOPs are covered in courses, practicals, and one-on-one training in the cases where they available for an instrument.


Manuals, cribsheets, posters, notes, and whiteboards in labs serve to reinforce key procedural points. Related science and engineering posters may be found in nearby hallways.

Online Training

Informal training notes and tutorials may be available for some instruments. The Electron Optics Facility hosts free online training modules in electron microscopy topics. The X-Ray Diffraction Users Group has posted sessions on XRD methods and curated some XRD learning modules.


Michigan Tech maintains a portal for Safety Data Sheets by lab location and product data (MSDSonline).


Vendors often provide brochures, data sheets, or training content related to their instruments. Forums and groups are available in the scientific community for discussing specialized procedures and best practices. Networking may be available at Michigan Tech. Lab news and status updates for electron optics instruments are available online and through listserver alerts.


Custom SOPs are not common in ACMAL. Talk to the director before attempting a custom procedure. All requirements for safety, cleanliness, and handling of equipment must be met before a custom procedure can be approved.