The Penn State Materials Research Institute houses phenomenal suites of instruments across multiple Core Facility units, offering research services to the Penn State community, industry, and other academic institutions. 

Getting Started Using the Materials Characterization Lab (MCL)

After your research has been deemed appropriate and feasible and you are ready to initiate a project, select your affiliation.

Select Your Affiliation:

Getting Started for the Penn State Community

1. LEO Registration

All new Penn State users must register in the LEO system (Laboratory Equipment Operations). Go to leocores.psu.edu and click on Register/Modify and complete the registration by entering your cost collector rand faculty advisor’s PSU Access ID.

Your billing account is a cost collector provided to you by your advisor or administration and will be in the form of a SIMBA Cost Center (10 digit number), SIMBA Internal Order number (12 digit number), or for ARL, a SIMBA WBS Element number (12 digit number). (Return to Register/Modify to create as many billing accounts as needed.)

When you Add a Billing Account, your advisor/supervisor will receive an email to approve or deny your request. After approved, your account will be available in LEO within 1-2 business days.

If assistance is needed, please contact LEOhelp@psu.edu.

Please note your billing account request must be approved by your faculty advisor and manually entered into LEO. This process may take a few hours to a few days or more depending on response time from those involved.

After completion of the LEO registration process, research services can be requested from your established technical staff member or if self-service operation is desired, Complete Safety Training

2. Complete Safety Training

Federal Law (OSHA) prohibits individuals working in labs without proper Safety Training. Safety training must be completed to gain access to the Millennium Science Complex and any lab within.

  1. Go to the EHS Online Lab Safety Training in the Learning Resource Network.
  2. Login using your Penn State user ID.
  3. Search for “EHS - Initial Laboratory & Research Safety Training - University Park.“
  4. Open the curriculum, read the instructions, complete the training modules, and take the quizzes. Training modules can be completed all together or individually as your schedule permits.
    1. Introduction to Safety (15:51 min) 
    2. Chemical Safety (41:44 min) 
    3. Laboratory Waste Management and Disposal (18:06 min) 
    4. Emergency Preparedness (18:10 min) 
  5. When finished, print your certificate to a PDF AND UPLOAD your final Safety Certificate through the Submission Form

Required Training for entry into the Nanofabrication Lab (if applicable): MSC Safety and Systems Building Orientation 
Contact Jaime Reish via e-mail jdr15@psu.edu or phone 814-865-7348 to schedule. 

Required Training for entry into the MCL X-Ray Diffraction Lab: EHS Electronic X-Ray Safety Training (if applicable) -- click on Training under Quick Links, click Radiation Safety, click Radiation Safety Education for Radiation Producing Equipment (X-ray) Follow instructions for both the On-Line Access and then the Hands On Session; UPLOAD your final Certificate here

3. Complete Specific Instrument Training

For MCL, visit their website and select "Training Request".  
For Nanofab, email Jaime Reish at jdr15@psu.edu or call 814-865-7348.

4. Request Millennium Science Complex (MSC) Building Access

Access to the MSC must be requested via the Facility Access Authorization Request Form. Please submit the completed form and your most up-to-date Safety Certificate to Jaime Reish (jdr15@psu.edu) N107 MSC.

5. Log Into LEO 

Use your new LEO profile at leocores.psu.edu.

Your facility usage is tracked by LEO and will be invoiced on a monthly billing cycle that ends on the 24th of each month. Your advisor/supervisor will receive the monthly invoice which will be paid via the University’s direct-bill payment process. 

EACH AND EVERY TRANSACTION GENERATED BY YOUR FACILITY USAGE MUST BE REVIEWED AND VALIDATED BY YOU WITHIN 5 CALENDAR DAYS OF USAGE. Failure to validate your transactions will cause administrative burden on core facility staff and your advisor/supervisor; facility staff may contact you to address this failure 

Transactions that are reviewed and deemed incorrect can be contested and corrected via the LEO Contest feature within 5 calendar days of usage. 

LEO training videos are available at leocores.psu.edu and additional LEO information is available on the LEO InfoSite Sharepoint Website

Using the Nanofabrication Lab (Nanofab)

  • Contact Nanofab by emailing Guy Lavallee at gpl107@psu.edu or calling 814-865-9339

Rates

Penn State MRI does not undercut the rates of commercial labs. If you request research services from Penn State MRI, you are doing so to benefit of highly trained technical staff, an interdisciplinary approach to research, state-of-the-art instrumentation, an industry friendly intellectual property policy, collaborative opportunities, and/or an opportunity to access faculty expertise, etc. 

Request MCL Rates: mcl@psu.edu    
Request Nanofab Rates: nanofab@psu.edu 

Information how we work with Industry: For Industry

Paying for Your Services

The system used to track and invoice for services is called LEO (Laboratory Equipment Operations).  A LEO billing account will be created for you within 24 hours of completion of a fully executed ARSO.  Services are invoiced on a monthly basis with a billing cycle running from the 25th to the 24th of the following month.  Payment terms are NET 30 days.

Payment Options

  1. Check made payable to: The Pennsylvania State University, 116 Transportation Research Building, University Park, PA 16802 
  2. Credit Card: Email LEOHELP@psu.edu and indicate the invoice number to be paid and a Credit Card Payment Request will be initiated for you 
  3. ACH/Bank Transfer: Use the ACH/bank transfer information to process payment

Research services are offered in two modes:

Self-Service – YOU operate the instruments independently after appropriate training
Full-Service – Submit research requests for staff-performed services

(For Nanofab usage, before deciding which service, please by email Guy Lavallee at gpl107@psu.edu or calling 814-865-9339)

Please see details of your selected research service in the tabs below:

1. Required Documents

Please complete all of the following required registration documents, obtain the authorized signature, and submit them to LEOContracts@psu.edu.

  1. Academic Research Services Order (ARSO)* – required for primary technical contact 
  2. External User Term Sheet (EUTS) - required when your employees will be doing the work themselves on PSU equipment. The EUTS requires that your organization assumes full responsibility and liability while at Penn State. 
  3. COVID Addendum – required if submitting an EUTS 
  4. New User Form – required for additional technical contacts/authorized project participants, if applicable.

*PLEASE READ ARSO DETAILS, FAQs, and NDA INFO HERE*

You will be notified when the ARSO agreement has been fully executed and at that point you can proceed to the next steps.

2. Acquire a Penn State Access ID

To acquire a PSU Access Account, go to accounts.psu.edu  and click on either Create My Account or Recover My Account (if you’ve had one in the past). When complete, you will be provided with a Username (i.e.: abc1234); Please email your new Username and a readable copy of a form of photo ID (ex: Driver License, Passport) to Amy Morder (ajm114@psu.edu). Amy will process an application to request that your account be elevated to a “sponsored” level. Your PSU username and password is what you will use to log in to any PSU system, remote computers, LEO and the research instruments.

3. Complete Safety Training

Federal Law (OSHA) prohibits individuals working in labs without proper Safety Training. Safety training must be completed to gain access to the Millennium Science Complex and any lab within.

  1. Go to the EHS Online Lab Safety Training in the Learning Resource Network.
  2. Login using your Penn State user ID.
  3. Search for “EHS - Initial Laboratory & Research Safety Training - University Park.“
  4. Open the curriculum, read the instructions, complete the training modules, and take the quizzes. Training modules can be completed all together or individually as your schedule permits.
    1. Introduction to Safety (15:51 min) 
    2. Chemical Safety (41:44 min) 
    3. Laboratory Waste Management and Disposal (18:06 min) 
    4. Emergency Preparedness (18:10 min) 
  5. When finished, print your certificate to a PDF AND UPLOAD your final Safety Certificate through the Submission Form

Required Training for entry into the Nanofabrication Lab (if applicable): MSC Safety and Systems Building Orientation 
Contact Jaime Reish via e-mail jdr15@psu.edu or phone 814-865-7348 to schedule. 

Required Training for entry into the MCL X-Ray Diffraction Lab: EHS Electronic X-Ray Safety Training (if applicable) -- click on Training under Quick Links, click Radiation Safety, click Radiation Safety Education for Radiation Producing Equipment (X-ray) Follow instructions for both the On-Line Access and then the Hands On Session; UPLOAD your final Certificate here

4. Complete Specific Instrument Training

For MCL, visit their website and select "Training Request".  
For Nanofab, email Jaime Reish at jdr15@psu.edu or call 814-865-7348.

5. Request Millennium Science Complex (MSC) Building Access

Access to the MSC must be requested via the Facility Access Form. Please submit the completed form and your most up-to-date Safety Certificate to Jaime Reish (jdr15@psu.edu) N107 MSC.

6. Log Into LEO 

Use your new LEO profile at leocores.psu.edu.

Your facility usage is tracked by LEO and will be invoiced on a monthly billing cycle that ends on the 24th of each month. Your advisor/supervisor will receive the monthly invoice which will be paid via the University’s direct-bill payment process. 

EACH AND EVERY TRANSACTION GENERATED BY YOUR FACILITY USAGE MUST BE REVIEWED AND VALIDATED BY YOU WITHIN 5 CALENDAR DAYS OF USAGE. Failure to validate your transactions will cause administrative burden on core facility staff and your advisor/supervisor; facility staff may contact you to address this failure 

Transactions that are reviewed and deemed incorrect can be contested and corrected via the LEO Contest feature within 5 calendar days of usage. 

LEO training videos are available at leocores.psu.edu and additional LEO information is available on the LEO InfoSite Sharepoint Website

1. Required Documents

Please complete all of the following required registration documents, obtain the authorized signature, and submit them to LEOContracts@psu.edu.

  1. Academic Research Services Order (ARSO)* – required for primary technical contact 
  2. New User Form – required for additional technical contacts/authorized project participants, if applicable.

*PLEASE READ ARSO DETAILS, FAQs, and NDA INFO HERE*

2. Coordinate with Your Established Technical Contact(s) to Begin Services

You will be notified when the ARSO agreement has been fully executed and at that point you can begin to coordinate with your established technical contact(s) to begin services.

A LEO billing account will be created for you within 24 hours of completion of a fully executed ARSO.

Your facility usage is tracked by LEO and will be invoiced on a monthly billing cycle that ends on the 24th of each month.