User Policies, Procedures, & Training

All users of analytical x-ray systems at Penn State are required to complete x-ray safety training through Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) prior to receiving instrument training. For more information on these requirements, see the EHS web site. Equipment training is provided at the hourly rate for equipment and analyst. Group training is available and can reduce cost per student significantly. Visit this webpage for training details or contact a technical staff member for more information.

Becoming an Independent User on MCL's X-ray Diffraction Equipment:

Create a Training Request at the MCL Service Portal. Please see below for requirements.

The following items will need to be completed to become an independent XRD user:

  1. LEO Account: Set up a LEO account, add a cost collector, and have your PI/advisor approve it.
  2. Radiation Safety Training: Complete the EHS requirements for "Radiation Safety Education for Radiation Producing Equipment (X-ray)" training. This includes online training and a hands-on session. You will receive a certificate of completion from EHS. Instructions
  3. Lab Safety Training: Complete the EHS requirements for Initial Laboratory & Research Safety Training – University Park. You will receive a certificate of completion from EHS. Instructions
  4. Upload Certificates: Upload (2) certificates received in the previous steps [(1) Radiation Producing Equipment (X-ray) Safety certificate and (1) Initial Laboratory & Research Safety Training certificate]. here
  5. Building Access: Obtain swipe access to enter the Millennium Science Complex and to access the basement. Contact  Amy Morder (  for assistance.

XRD Instrument Training:

There are four steps in the instrument training process:

  1. MCL COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures: All users must follow the current MCL SOP's to access the lab. Information will be provided once you request training on the MCL Service Portal.
  2. Canvas Course: To get the most from your instrument training, visit this Canvas course, “X-ray Training at MCL”: Click “Canvas login” and click on “Courses.” Choose “X-ray Training at MCL.” Select the module for the instrument for which you are training. These course modules contain videos that describe the instrument and basic safety rules for the lab. There is a short quiz at the end. If you view the videos and complete the quiz with a score of 90% or higher, this will reduce the amount of time required to complete the instrument training session. Each module should take about 30 minutes to complete.
  3. Initial Training Session: You must bring at least two samples, a tablet, and a pen or pencil to the Initial Instrument Training. Upon completion of this session, using materials provided in the lab and/or your notes, you should be able to operate the instrument independently.
  4. Solo Session: Following initial instrument training, you will complete a Solo Session on the instrument. This is typically a 1 ½ hour session in which you will demonstrate that you are competent on the tool. A solo session involves you operating the tool independently while a staff member is present to help if needed. You must come prepared with at least two samples to measure and notes you took during training. When you successfully complete your solo session, you will be granted access to the tool.

If you have questions about any of the information above, please contact Melissa (