IEN - Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility
IEN Re-Opening Plans and Procedures

As users return, the IEN staff has developed modified protocols surrounding the use and occupancy of the cleanrooms and guidelines for staff-user interactions. This is to enable research work to continue with behavioral and organizational modifications that encourage social distancing and cleanliness to limit exposure and spread of SARS-COV-2 consistent with departmental, campus, and university system guidelines. The new policies detailed below will take effect on 06/18/2020 and are subject to change as circumstances require. Anyone violating these policies will be suspended from using the facility indefinitely.

The Micro/Nanofabrication core facilities (cleanrooms and associated labs) will only be open to users when staff is on site, i.e., M-F from 7am-9:30pm and Sat & Sun from 10am-4pm.

General Guidelines for the Marcus Nanotechnology and Pettit Microelectronics Buildings

  • Automatic doors or low-touch options, such as using foot-pulls or arm-pulls, will be used to open doors. During standard IEN operating hours, doors that can be left ajar while still maintaining code will remain ajar. 
  • High-touch surface areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, touchscreens, desks, keyboards, and computer mice will routinely be cleaned with disinfecting solutions.
  • Automatic dispensing hand sanitizing stations will be placed at high-traffic points, building entrances, and laboratory entrances.
  • Signs for hand-washing techniques will be posted in all bathrooms and near any sinks, including those in labs.
  • Signs will also be posted throughout the building informing building occupants and lab users of changes to Georgia Tech Policy regarding the use of facilities, cleanrooms, common areas, and laboratories. (Click attachments on the right for more information)
  • Occupants and users will always be expected to observe the CDC’s recommendation of 6 feet distance in labs, cleanrooms, hallways, and all other spaces within IEN buildings.
  • No-touch or low-touch options will be provided for donning gloves in labs and cleanrooms. 
  • Scheduling rules will be implemented via the Shared User Management System (SUMS) to limit the population within a small or tool-dense lab spaces.
  • Gowns will be placed in garment bags after each use and users will be strongly encouraged to replace them more frequently.
  • Users will disinfect their phones with 70% IPA before entering the labs and cleanrooms.

With the adoption of these new policies outlined above, which are explained in more detail in the IEN Social Distancing Protocol Report, a safe working environment can be achieved for both researchers and staff. 

In addition to changes in building and administrative protocols, modifications were made to protocols surrounding the utilization of the shared cleanrooms and labs. The new protocols for entering and using the cleanroom are described below.


New Cleanroom Entry & Exit Procedures – EH&S Approved

  • Enter IEN through the front doors one person at a time and be sure to maintain 6 ft. of the distance between each other. There will be tape markings on the floor to indicate 6 ft. intervals, starting at the main entrance door. 
  • Only one person is allowed to enter the pre-gown area in the Pettit and Bio-Cleanroom, and only two people are allowed to enter the pre-gowning area in the Inorganic Cleanroom with social distancing maintained. Only one person can occupy the main gowning area of the Bio-Cleanroom, two people in the gowning area of the Pettit Cleanroom, and only three people can be in the Inorganic Cleanroom main gowning area at a time (reference the layouts to the right for a better visual representation).
  • After entering the main entrance door, take off your cloth mask and secure it to your lanyard. (If you do not have one, ask the cleanroom coordinator, Charlie Turgeon - office to the left of the inorganic cleanroom entrance)
  • You must sanitize your hands first before you touch the gloves. 
  • Put the gloves on using the No Touch Glove Dispenser, then shoe covers using the dispenser, then facemask, and finally the hair net. This exact order must be followed each time. 
  • Then, wipe down any external items such as phones or research samples at the wipe down station provided using 70% or 100% IPA
  • Enter the main gowning area and put on your hood, then gown, and then boots. This exact order must be followed each time. Keep your buzzcard with your face mask inside your gown at ALL times in the cleanroom.
  • Wipe your goggles with 70% or 100% IPA and a text wipe before you put on the goggles.
  • You must sanitize the first pair of gloves using the automatic dispensing hand sanitizing station before you put on the second pair of gloves.
  • Make sure your face mask covers the areas above your nose and below your chin at all times.
  • Once you are in the cleanroom, please keep a distance of 6 ft from others if at all possible.
  • Place your goggles in a drawstring pouch, and remove your gown, hood and boots and place in a garment bag with your name on it (get a name tag from the label maker located in the gowning area)
  • You can discard your face mask, gloves, and shoe covers in the trash can next to the exit of the gowning area 

Infographics and layouts showing clear visual interpretations of the procedures detailed above can be found in the attachments to the right. 

Protocol for Utilizing Cleanroom

  • Put buzzcard in lanyard while in cleanroom and do not let buzzcard touch surfaces in the room.
  • Use your phone to log into the tools in the cleanroom as much as possible. There will be QR codes available for some tools that you can use to log in and out. Some touchscreens will be available for use if cellphone use is inconvenient.
  • Only 2 people are allowed per suite in the BioCleanroom. 
  • Wipe down sample holders and work benches before and after use. 
  • Do not use the eye pieces of the microscopes but only the camera and monitor for viewing. 
  • Do not put phones to your face in the cleanroom 
  • If possible, only one person should use a fume hood at a time; if two users must use the same fume hood in the cleanroom, they should use the two ends of the hood to maximize the distance between them.
  • Infographics showing clear visual interpretations of the procedures detailed above can be found in the attachments to the right.

Protocol for Utilizing Cleanroom: Staff

In addition to the general protocols implemented for the cleanroom users, the staff will do the following:

  • Use cellophane or plastic covering to cover keyboards, computer mice, and touchscreens, and replace this covering daily. 
  • Wipe down cellophane or plastic covering throughout the day 
  • Implement the daily cleaning schedule detailed in the IEN Cleanroom Protocol Modifications report

Protocol for Utilizing Micro/Nanofabrication Labs

  • If carrying any outside items to the labs, place them in the lockers or storage stations provided in the Callaway and Marcus buildings. As there are currently no lockers or storage stations available in the Pettit buildings, please try to limit outside items to research samples, phone, and buzzcard. If carrying research samples, wipe them down at the wipe-down station outside the lab. Wipe down phone and buzzcard holder as well using IPA and texwipes. 
  • Scan buzzcard.
  • Use automatic dispensing hand sanitizing station to sanitize hands and then open the door, if less than the maximum number of people allowed in the lab are present, otherwise, wait for someone to leave.  
  • Use the automatic dispensing hand sanitizing station to sanitize hands after opening the doors to ensure no cross-contamination from using the door handles and put on gloves using No Touch Glove dispenser. 
  • Use keyboard and mouse covers and wipe them down before and after use with IPA and texwipes.

Infographics showing clear visual interpretations of the procedures detailed above can be found in the attachments on the right.

Related Media
Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)
BioCleanroom (De)Gowning Layout

Inorganic (De)Gowning Layout

Pettit (De)Gowning Layout

Contact Information
Gary Spinner - Sr. Asst. Dir-Research Ops
The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at Georgia Tech
345 Ferst Drive, Atlanta GA, 30332
(o) 404.385.5252 | (c) 404.391.9182