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College of Arts and Sciences

Facility Use Policies

Electron Microscopy Center is a multi-user facility and it is imperative that all users work responsibly in the lab.


The Electron Microscopy Center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM . It is closed on all major holidays. Most of the major equipment is available for use after hours. However, after hours users must be checked out by the EMC staff before after hours access is granted. University of South Carolina faculty members must be responsible for their staff and students who use the facility and any costs incurred.


The major instruments are signed-up on a first come first serve basis. The users are encouraged to sign-up for microscopes through the web based instrument sign up calendar. Any interested user can also call (777-5180) to reserve instruments or simply walk in to the center to sign up ahead of time. The center staff must be notified immediately if any instrument reservation needs to be canceled or rescheduled.


EM Center Users - Please use the following format in your manuscripts, meeting presentations, and proposals to acknowledge the USC EM Center.

"The author(s) would like to acknowledge the University of South Carolina Electron Microscopy Center for instrument use, scientific and technical assistance."

Rules and Regulations

The following rules and regulations must be followed by individuals who intend to work in this lab.

  • All users must create an online User Account through the Instrument Reservations webpage.
  • All users must fill out a Project Information Sheet [pdf] and an EMC Disclaimer [pdf]. These forms must be brought to the center at your first appointment.
  • All new users must make an appointment to go through instrument training from EMC staff. EMC users are not authorized to train fellow group members.
  •  Any instrument use must be entered in the appropriate log books.
  • If in doubt about using any equipment or chemical please ask the EMC staff. Any mistake on your part could put you and others at great risk. Proper chemical handling is expected from all users.
  • Do not insert any hazardous materials/specimens inside EMC microscopes.
  • Closed toed foot wear is mandatory for all lab users.
  • All hazardous chemicals must be used in the hood and hazardous chemical wastes should be disposed off in their respective waste containers stored under the hood in the waste area.
  • In case of a spill it is very important that you immediately inform the EMC staff. The staff will help you clean up the spill in an efficient and safe way.
  • Sharpies, rubber bulbs, glass rods and other miscellaneous material present in the hood stay in the hood. They are not to be moved out of the hood under any circumstances. These materials may be contaminated with fixatives.
  • Users are requested to keep their appointments and clean up after they use this facility.
  • If you are the last user of the day, please turn off the microscope high voltage and beam and close the center door behind you.


The following fines will be charged to users who fail to abide by the EMC guidelines.


Fine amount

Failure to keep appointment and notify the EMC staff at least an hour before scheduled appointment


Clutter left behind after use

$10-25 depending on clean up required

Repeated misuse and mishandling of chemicals, equipment, and wastes


Failure to log in and log out after use of lab equipment


Bounced check or account number


We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the EM Center at 777-5180.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.