Lab Access  

For access to the Materials Characterization Lab (MCL) and to reserve instrument time, please email laboratory manager Rit Borgohain ( with the following information:

  • Your name and PID.
  • Name of your research advisor or PI.
  • Program (Undergraduate/Graduate)
  • Expected graduation month/year
  • A brief description of your research.
  • Instruments you're requesting access to and any relevant training and experience with those instruments.

Once that first step is completed, you’ll receive an email requesting EHS training certificates; complete and return these as directed in the email.

Once access is approved, you’ll be added to the online instrument reservation system.

When you visit the lab for the first time, schedule a time to meet with the laboratory manager.

Facility Rules 

The rules below must be followed to maintain access to the facility:

  • Prior authorization from the lab manager is required to access and use the facility. 
  • Users must be current on EHS certifications.
  • Facility hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Special permission is required to use the facility outside these hours. 
  • Users must follow all Virginia Tech safety guidelines. 
  • No walk-ins. Prospective users must schedule a training time with lab staff, demonstrate competence on the relevant instruments prior to use, and complete additional training as required.
  • Only MCL staff can train users on any instrument in the lab. Training by a lab mate is not allowed unless given permission by the lab manager.
  • To use an instrument in the MCL, you must reserve time on the instrument and begin work within 30 minutes of your scheduled time. If you cannot make this time or need to postpone, you must let the staff know.
  • Do not accompany students who do not have access to the lab.
  • There is no instrument usage fee for VT users. External users will be charged a fee for using the facility; please contact the lab manager for details. 
  • Users are required to maintain a safe, clean work space and to leave work areas tidy and ready for the next user. 
  • Do not remove any items, instruments, or parts without consulting lab staff.
  • Notify the lab manager promptly of equipment problems or damage that occur during your session. 
  • Failure to follow these policies may result in lab access being revoked at any time.


When publishing research that includes data or results obtained using MCL instrumentation, please acknowledge the facility using the following language:

“This work was made possible by the use of Virginia Tech’s Materials Characterization Facility, which is supported by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Macromolecules Innovation Institute, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.”