Laboratory Policies

Our policies are designed to ensure that NARMIL remains a user-friendly, innovative and productive work place for all SBU faculty and their research groups. All potential users of the NARMIL facilities should read the following laboratory information and policies before requesting services.

Facility Operations

Use of the NARMIL is open to all SBU faculty and their research groups (postdocs, students, technicians) under the university’s specialized service facility (SSF) program. Very few analyses on these instruments are routine and almost certainly require experimentation and optimization. Analysis of reference material is advisable whenever possible to confirm peak positions of your analytes. Bear in mind that these instruments are not Mr. Spock’s Tricorder, so you need some idea of what you’re looking for in advance.

Users’ rate structure is based on hours of usage and level of technical assistance required. Levels of assistance are classified as follows: Independent (after proper training and vetting by the Lab Specialist, Tanya Zaliznyak, LS), Collaborative I (user+LS), Collaborative II (user+LS+Director) and Full Service (LS only). Rates for non-SBU academic and industrial users are adjusted to reflect the higher administrative costs associated with external billing.


Training in basic operation of Confocal Raman Microscope and AFM will be provided by the LS to clients as required. Clients may become actual users only after the LS is satisfied that client understands proper use of the instruments and all safe operational practices.


We strive to make NARMIL scheduling as flexible, fair, dynamic and transparent as possible to accommodate all users. We have a first come, first-served policy, and strive to minimize the facility’s idle time. Some measurements have relatively predictable time requirements, whereas others are more challenging and less predictable. All potential investigators are required to submit a brief outline describing his/her project objective and analytical needs. Requests will be reviewed by Taylor, Knopf and Zaliznyak with the investigator to determine feasibility, impact on the system and scheduling. For planning purposes, please visit our online dynamic scheduling calendar to check for availability ( The schedule will be updated by the LS as additions, delays, and cancellations arise.

Access to Data and Data Sharing Practices and Policies

Data produced within NARMIL will be observational data consisting of optical images, AFM topographic reconstructions, individual Raman vibrational spectra, or Raman 2-D and 3-D maps. NARMIL will provide users access to shareware from Renishaw and Bruker in order to process raw data into useful images (*.jpg, *.gif, *.tiff or *.eps, etc.) and data spreadsheets (*.xls). LS will provide guidance for data processing to users and, in some cases, will process user’s data on a fee basis comparable to other University facilities.

1) Access to raw data on NARMIL computers will be password-protected behind a firewall and will not be disseminated to anyone without the client’s expressed written consent.

2) Data access and publication of images will be the sole responsibility of the principal investigator (facility client), which we expect will conform to their funding agency’s reporting requirements.

3) Data produced within NARMIL will be maintained on the instruments’ workstations for a period of one year and on external hard drives. Data will be permanently backed up on DVDs after this period. Investigators using this facility will receive copies of their raw data immediately after completing their experiments. External hard drive and DVDs will be stored in different locations to minimize risk of loss due to fire or water damage. Hardcopy logs will be retained in the PI’s office in a locked cabinet.

Client’s Responsibilities

1) Data acquired by the NARMIL carry the simple condition that the facility and NSF grant award number OCE-1336724 must be acknowledged on any publication reporting data produced onsite, e.g., “Raman data were acquired in SoMAS’ NAno-Raman Molecular Imaging Laboratory (NARMIL), a community facility dedicated to environmental sciences’ applications and founded with NSF-MRI grant OCE-1336724

2) Clients are expected to keep the LS and Director apprised of publications emanating from NARMIL-generated data, providing manuscript submission details and reprints (pdfs) as soon as available.

3) Inclusion of NARMIL staff as co-authors on any publication is left to the discretion of the client, should depend on the level of intellectual participation, and is not a requirement for use of the facility’s services.