The innovation engine for new materials

Access & Training

As a central facility of MRL, the x-ray facility is available to researchers from MRL and other campus departments/groups, as well as off-campus users (academic or industrial). To gain access to the facility, the user must establish a recharge account and satisfy all training requirements.

Scheduling for instruments is done through a web-based portal. Due to high demand on the instruments, certain policies have been established regarding how much time a user can sign up for one day. These sign up restrictions are posted in the x-ray lab and set within the sign up program. Only authorized users who have completed safety and instrument training can access the program.

Under special circumstances, the staff members in the x-ray facility can perform data collection for users. This may be necessary for specialty diffractometers or customized experiments. When these situations arise, staff time in addition to instrument time will be recharged.

Training / Requirements for UCSB students, employees and official visitors:

Completion of MRL Safety Training & Documentation

  1. Review Laboratory Hazards Assessment Tool (LHAT) information for the CNSI X-ray Lab that you will be working in. In order to use the LHAT tool, you must first obtain an UCSBNetID. Send an e-mail to youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu to request invitation to the LHAT website so that you may review the specific laboratory hazards in the lab that you will be working in.
  2. Complete UCSB general lab safety by watching the online videos and/or take part in an in-person EH&S class. This is required for all MRL lab work and should have been documented with 'MRL New Participant Safety Training Form'. link:
  3. Complete online radiation safety training by signing up and completing the online course for Radiation Producing Machines. Go to and log in using your UCSBNetID. Then search for course “Radiation Producing Machines”. Once you have passed this class, save the screenshot or print out a certificate of completion and submit to youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu with other training forms.
  4. Work with one of your group members to get instrument specific training. If you cannot find anybody who could provide you with instrument training, you can contact Youli Li (youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu) to set up a basic training session.
  5. Submit forms to document the training. For new users, you must complete both MRL 'New Participant Safety Training Form' and EH&S 'TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE RECORD FOR RADIATION PRODUCING MACHINE USE'.
  6.  E-mail Phillip Kohl (phillipkohl [at] gmail [dot] com) a recharge account number, PI name, department affiliation and which instrument that you have trained on to set up your online user account.
  7. Apply for CNSI access card or add XRD lab access (1409) to existing card by going to and filling out the online form. 
  8. Once you are working in the lab, review the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) binder for additional safety information. You must document (by signing the log sheet) that you have reviewed this information within two weeks of starting working in the lab.
NOTE: New users must complete the first three training requirements before scheduling an appointment with the laboratory staff for instrument training. If you have already submitted the MRL participant form for other MRL lab use you won't need to do it again. Please drop off completed forms in the inbox outside MRL room 2202, or send via campus mail to: Attn: Youli Li, MRL 5121.  For further assistance/questions as to how to gain access to the x-ray facility, contact:

Youli Li, youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu, Tel. (805)893-8104

Training / Requirements for Off-Campus Users (From Companies and Other Institutions):

Off-Campus users should contact the X-ray Facility Technical Director (Youli Li, youli [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu, Tel. (805)893-8104) to to set up the appropriete documentation before facility access is granted. Follow the link below for introductions on how to set up an off-campus facility user account. In addition, users must complete required safety and instrument training as outlined above.

“Non-UCSB User Instruction”

Tips on how to be a good users

  • Pay particular attention to safety (x-rays are invisible and dangerous!)
  • Observe all posted signs
  • Don't attempt to modify x-ray set up or bypass safety interlocks
  • Think about what you are going to do before doing it
  • Ask questions when in doubt
  • Report problems immediately
  • Don't sign up for more time than you need
  • Start and finish your session on time
  • Clean up after you are done