The emergency phone number is 911.

General Safety Rules

  • No Food
  • No Beverages
  • No smoking or chewing tobacco
  • No vaping
  • Dress Appropriately
    • Wear safety glasses for all processes
    • Long pants
    • No sandals, open-toed, or perforated shoes
    • Secure all long hair, neckties, or loose clothing
  • Always wash hands before and after using the MFF
  • Ensure you have received the required training to safely operate a tool or perform a process in the MFF
  • Plan ahead, develop a standard operating procedure for your process, and review it with the managing director
  • Never work alone, under stress, or with haste
  • Keep good housekeeping habits
  • If you are not sure STOP and ask

Failure to comply with the laboratory rules:

  • Three strikes and you are out.
  • The first two times you will receive a warning and your supervisor will be notified. The third time you will lose your laboratory privileges.
  • If the incident is considered severe enough you will automatically lose laboratory privileges.

Chemical Exposure

In case of a chemical exposure:

General Process

  • Remove contaminated clothing
  • Use emergency shower or eyewash to rinse off the chemicals
  • Get medical attention as needed
  • Let your supervisor and the managing director know as soon as possible
  • Fill out an incident and injury form
  • Re-evaluate your experiment and engineering controls with the managing director and your supervisor

Exposure to Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrofluoric acid is a colorless liquid with a strong odor. It is commonly used for the etching of silicon dioxide either diluted to 5 percent or mixed with ammonium fluoride to form buffered oxide etchant. It is highly corrosive and will cause severe skin and eye burns and may be fatal if inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or swallowed. If you are exposed to hydrofluoric acid:

  • Remove contaminated clothing
  • Rinse area under a safety shower or eyewash station for five minutes
  • Apply calcium gluconate to the exposed area
  • Seek medical attention
  • Contact supervisor and managing director
  • Fill out an incident and injury form
  • Re-evaluate your experiment and engineering controls with the managing director and your supervisor

Chemical Spills

General chemical spill:

  • Evacuate if in doubt. Warn other users and let the managing director know
  • Control the spread of dust, vapor, and liquids
    • Make a ring of adsorbate material from the spill kit around the spill
    • Special materials are required for hydrofluoric acid and sulfuric acid
  • Collect and contain the residues
    • Place all adsorbate material into a suitable container
  • Properly dispose of waste
  • Decontaminate the area and affected equipment
  • File a report
  • Replace spill supplies

In case of a chemical spill of flammable solutions:

For spills smaller than 500 ml

  • Ensure all ignition sources are off
  • Follow the general spill process
  • Contact managing director and EHS

For spills larger than 500 ml

  • Ensure all ignition sources are off
  • Contact managing director and EHS
  • Building evacuation may be required

In case of a chemical spill of corrosive, moderately toxic, irritant, or highly odorous liquid spill:

For spills smaller than 500 ml

  • Contact managing director and EHS

For spills larger than 500 ml

  • Contact managing director and EHS
  • Building evacuation may be required

Hazard Identification

Every chemical in the MFF has some hazard associated with it. These hazards can be determined by looking at:

Chemical Storage

Chemicals should be stored in the cabinets. Chemicals must not be stored in open containers.

Chemicals and hazardous waste should not be placed directly on the floor to prevent:

  • Users knocking over containers
  • Overflow from the bottles going on the floor

The MFF supports a core list of chemicals that are covered by the use fees. If your process requires chemicals that are not supplied:

  • The chemicals will need to be authorized by the managing director for entry into the lab
  • They must be stored in the MFF

For new chemicals:

  • Chemicals must be marked with the date they were brought into the MFF
  • Ensure that a copy of the SDS is stored on (SDSONLINE)
  • Update the MFF chemical inventory, which is an Excel spreadsheet maintained by Managing Director
  • Ensure that chemicals are stored in the correct location
    • Acid cabinet
    • Base cabinet
    • Solvent cabinet
    • Oxidizer cabinet
    • Fridge

For chemical mixtures or transferring to a new container:

  • Ensure that the container is compatible with the chemical
  • The complete label has to be replicated
    • Full chemical names
    • Concentrations
    • SDS information
    • Date of transfer or mixing
    • Name of user that made the mixture or transferred the chemical to a new container

Chemical Transportation

When moving chemicals between storage cabinets, it is important that you place all chemicals into secondary containers. Secondary containers must be used in case the original container fails. There are bottle carriers on top of the storage cabinets for this process.

If you have to keep samples in a chemical solution and transport them to another room in the MFF, they need to be covered and also placed in a secondary container.

Chemicals are not permitted to be moved from the rooms in which they are stored. They are must not be carried between buildings.

Gas Bottles

Gas bottles are considered the sleeping giants of any facility. They are pressurized to over 2000 psi when full and can turn into gas-propelled missiles if dropped. Users are only allowed to open and close a gas bottle when needed for a process. If you empty a gas bottle or see one running low (below 500 psi), let the managing director know as soon as possible. Gas bottles must be ordered in advance, and are only delivered on Wednesdays.

A gas bottle system normally has five parts:

  • Main bottle valve
  • High pressure gauge
  • Regulator
  • Low pressure gauge
  • Main line valve.

The user should only have to open the main bottle valve and the main line valve (if not already open). The regulator controls the gas pressure to the process tool, and should never be adjusted.


Safety Contacts

MFF Safety Contact

Paul Bergstrom

Campus Safety Contact

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)


University Safety Manual
Campus Emergency Guide
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Fire Safety and Emergencies

The Michigan Technological University emergency guide applies to all facilities on campus. In case of a fire or another emergency, refer to the University EMERGENCY GUIDE.

Fire Safety

There is a fire extinguisher next to every door. These can only be used by trained authorized personnel.

In case of a FIRE:

  • Initiate a building evacuation using the nearest alarm pull station
  • Dial 911 to notify Public Safety and request fire department assistance
  • If the fire is small and you have been trained in the use of portable fire extinguishers, you may attempt to extinguish the fire
  • Do not be a hero. It is better to leave and be alive than dead
  • Use the nearest safe exit route to leave the building. Close all doors on the way out to prevent the spread of smoke and fire
  • After exiting, immediately proceed to a safe location at least 100 feet from the building
  • Do not leave the area
  • Do not re-enter the building until the all-clear is given by Public Safety or the fire department

In case of a FIRE alarm:

  • Use the nearest safe exit route to leave the building
  • Ensure you make other users aware of the alarm as you leave
  • Close all doors on the way out to prevent the spread of smoke and fire
  • After exiting, immediately proceed to a safe location at least 100 feet from the building
  • Do not leave the area
  • Do not re-enter the building until the all-clear is given by Public Safety or the fire department

Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) contain this information:

  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s) identification
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
  4. First-aid measures
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and Storage
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information
  15. Regulatory information
  16. Other information

The SDS should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure users are aware of the hazards associated with that chemical and are using correct safety procedures. SDS are located:

  • Online SDS resources
    • Look for the Microfabrication Facility (185) under Locations.
  • Folders located in each room of the MFF
  • Manufacturer's website
  • Web search. You must make sure that it is the same chemical and concentration

Users must supply their own SDS if they have permission to bring their own chemicals into the lab.

Product Labels

Product labels contain information including:

  • Name
  • Chemical formula
  • Grade of chemical
  • Dangers
  • GHS pictograms
  • First aid

Waste Management

Liquid Waste

  • Solvent waste can go in the left-hand spinner
  • Developer waster can go in the right-hand spinner
    • This does not include SU-8 developer because it is a solvent
  • Acid and base waste can be disposed of in the wet benches that have the acid neutralization systems
  • Solutions containing chrome, silver, or gold need to be collected in waste bottles

Process for Storing Waste in Waste Bottles

  • Ensure the reaction has stopped
  • Let the solution cool to room temperature
  • If the solution outgasses (e.g. Piranha Etch) alert the managing director for immediate disposal
  • Make sure you are not adding a solution to a container that will start a reaction with the container or liquids in the container
  • Use the 4L polypropylene bottles for waste containers
    • Old polypropylene bottles can be used after triple rinsing with water
    • Ask the managing director for a bottle if none are in the MFF
  • Avoid glass bottles for waste containers as they can be easily broken
  • DO NOT overfill the waste container – Leave an air gap of three inches from the top of the lid
  • Place a label on the waste container and include this information:
    • “Hazardous Waste”
    • Date: Starting date of generation
    • Chemicals: Full chemical name and concentration if a mixture
    • Code: EPA listing and SDS information
    • Username: User that started to generate the waste
  • Labels should be printed and taped to the bottle
  • Remove labels that may confuse other people who may come in contact with the waste container

Sharp Waste:

  • Sharp waste includes:
    • silicon wafers
    • glass or quartz wafers and slides
    • needles that are not contaminated with biohazardous material
    • razor blades
  • Sharp waste should be place in the green bucket collection containers and will be removed once they are full

Eliminate and Reduce Hazards

To ensure a safe working environment for yourself and other users, try to eliminate and reduce hazards in your process. This can be achieved by:

  • Initial process design specifications
  • Substituting less harmful materials
  • Proper use of engineering controls
    • Enclosing the process
    • Ventilation (fume hoods)

Engineering Controls

Fume Hood

Fume hoods are an important engineering control and should be used whenever a user is doing chemical processing. The fume hood reduces the exposure of chemicals and vapors to the user as long as it is operated correctly. In order for the fume hood to operate efficiently:

  • Ensure the sash is closed as low as it can go if not in use
  • Keep the sash as low as possible when working in the fume hood
  • Do not put your head in the fume hood
  • Do not store chemicals in the fume hood or the front of the fume hood as doing so will reduce air flow
  • If the fume hood alarm is active, contact the MFF managing director to correct the issue

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Make sure you have read the SDS for each chemical to determine the required PPE. General requirements are:

General PPE (protect samples and systems from the users)

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Long pants
  • Closed-toed shoes

Thermal processing

  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • General PPE

Cleanroom grey space

  • Blue booties
  • General PPE

Cleanroom gowning

  • White shoe covers
  • Bouffant
  • Face mask
  • Lab coat
  • Gloves
  • Blue booties
  • General PPE

The following order should be used when gowning to ensure you do not get your gloves and lab coat dirty.

Solvent processing

  • Depends on the solvents
  • Cleanroom gowning

Cleaning spinner

  • Chemical gloves
  • Cleanroom gowning

Acid and base processing

  • Face shield
  • Apron
  • Chemical gloves
  • Chemical sleeves
  • Cleanroom gowning

All PPE should be checked for wear and holes that might not protect the user in case of a chemical exposure.