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University of Cambridge >  Nanoscience Laboratory Intranet > Cleanroom & Lab Information > Cleanroom Code

Nanoscience Centre Cleanroom


The Nanoscience Laboratory Cleanroom is an extensive shared facility. These rules are to enable all of its various users to carry out their work safely and with a minimum of disruption. Any questions about this policy and the Clean room Code of Conduct should be addressed in the first instance to the Lab Manager (Mr Dave Roberts).

Cleanroom Code of Conduct

Under no circumstances enter the clean room without wearing the correct clothing. Contamination causes big problems for all users. It is essential the clean rooms are kept as clean as possible.


  • The clean room is only to be entered via the changing room.
  • The clean room may only be entered by those who have been authorised to do so by the Lab Manager.
  • The clean room may only be used between 07:30 am and 12:00 pm. Outside of normal working hours (8am to 6pm) no-one should work in the cleanroom alone.
  • Everyone entering the cleanroom must wear the appropriate cleanroom garments provided.
  • Everything being carried into the cleanroom should be suitable for use in the cleanroom and should be wiped down before being taken in. If in doubt, consult the Lab Manager.
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  • Users are responsible for keeping the laboratories and their working area tidy and safe. Tools, samples, chemicals beakers etc. should be put away when not in use. All samples and chemicals should be clearly labelled with contents, name and date. If you are in the middle of a procedure and leave the clean room for any length of time, ensure your materials are labelled so others do not disturb them.
  • Users may only carry out procedures in the cleanroom for which they have been properly trained and authorised to carry out. All users should ensure that appropriate Risk Assessments and COSHH forms have been completed for all their activities and any necessary safety measures are taken. Ask for advice on how to do this prior to commencing work in the cleanrooms.
  • Each piece of equipment is assigned a responsible person who should ensure relevant Risk Assessments and COSHH forms are completed, and that all users are properly trained in its operation.
  • Completed RA forms should be displayed adjacent to the equipment to which they refer. You should read the relevant RAs as part of your training.
  • Equipment should not be removed or placed in the cleanroom without the Lab Managers prior permission. No equipment should be modified or adapted without the equipment managers knowlege, a new risk assessment will be required.
  • Certain pieces of equipment must be booked before use. The responsible person will establish the rules and method for booking the equipment. Where equipment log books are provided they must be filled in.
  • All breakages/equipment failures must be reported to the responsible person for the equipment or to the Lab Manager/cleanroom technician if the responsible person is not available.
  • Equipment maintenance and repair takes priority over all other activities in the cleanroom. The responsible person for each piece of equipment and the Lab Manager will coordinate the upkeep of the equipment, all users may be expected to assist.
  • Chemicals must be stored in the correct cupboards (e.g. Acids, Solvents), and not left on benches. Only small volumes may be kept in fume hoods at any one time. Waste solvents should be disposed of in the labelled containers. There are separate containers for chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvents. Any empty chemical bottles should be removed to the changing area, and be disposed of correctly - ask the Safety Technician for advice on how to do this.
  • Inform the staff of any new chemicals that are taken into the cleanroom.
  • Care must be taken with glass materials - do not leave slides on benches where there are hard to see and easy to knock onto the floor. Any broken glass or sharps should be disposed of in the yellow and red bins or the white buckets provided. When these are full take them to the changing area, and dispose of as for chemicals.

Changing Area

Before entering the cleanroom you need to (in order)
  • Put on a clean room hood
  • Put on a clean room suit
  • Ensure the hood is fully tucked into the suit
  • Put clean room overshoes over your shoes.
  • Put on gloves if going straight to the class 100 bay

In front of the exit to the clean room there is a barrier. Beyond the barrier you must wear cleanroom overshoes, but you must not walk in your overshoes in the rest of the changing area. There is a stool and a bench to sit on while you put on the overshoes as you cross the barrier.

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Class 10,000 Bays

  • Suitable gloves are provided in the changing area. They should be worn in all normal circumstances and at all times when handling samples, touching areas where samples come into contact or when touching surfaces normally at vacuum.
  • Change gloves whenever necessary and dispose of the old ones in the bins provided.

Class 100 Bay

  • A higher standard of cleanroom practice is required to maintain the class 100 conditions.
  • Before entering put a pair of overshoes over the boots you are already wearing. Put on a pair of gloves, you should wear gloves at all times in the class 100 area. Overshoes and gloves are provided in the racks outside the entrance to the Class 100 area.
  • Always enter via the air shower and wait for the full cycle to complete.
  • White light can expose photoresist. Only use yellow light in the class 100 room.
  • Only use solvents in the solvents cabinet - solvent fumes can damage photoresist surfaces.
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  • Leave outdoor coats and bags in the coat rack by the entrance to the building.
  • Keep the changing area tidy - Take a suit from the rack of the appropriate size (or open a new suit from the crates below if that size is not available). Hang the suit back up when you are finished. Overshoes and headwear can be found in the racks to the right of the suits.
  • When removing your shoes place them in the racks under the bench so that they are out of the way whilst you are in the clean room.
  • Use a locker to keep any personal possessions in, such as mobile phones, wallets, jumpers etc.
  • Don't eat, drink, smoke or brush your hair in the changing area.

The cleanliness of the cleanrooms is extremely important to all users, everyone must help to maintain the highest possible standards of cleanliness. As well as following the rules outlined above to prevent as much contamination as possible users can:

  • Remove the top layer of blue tacky mats if they are too dirty to be effective.
  • Empty any bins once they become full. New bin liners are stored on the shelves in the changing areas. Full bin bags should be disposed of in the large blue bin outside the building.
  • Remove empty chemical containers (and full waste solvent containers) to the changing area and dispose of correctly - ask the Cleanroom Technician for advice on the correct procedure.

If there are particular problems with the cleanliness in any areas or in general, please make this known to the Lab Manager.

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last updated 5-01-2007