Rules and Regulations


Facility Rules


Two-Body Rule:

The facility is open from 8am – 5pm Monday thru Friday for standard operation with NNF Staff available. Weekend work requires prior approval by the NNF Staff and once approval is granted must consist of two NNF Users who have both successfully passed the safety test and completed the NNF Orientation.


Entering and Leaving the Facility:
  1. Enter cleanroom wearing proper attire (Clean room attire protects the environment from contamination generated by people. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for specific chemical hazards as defined here in.)
    1. Safety glasses (contact lens wearers must wear goggles in areas where there is a risk of chemical/gas exposure. However, we discourage the use of contact lenses in the laboratory due to the hazard of trapping dissolved chemicals in or under your lenses)
    2. Closed-toe, preferably non-cloth, non-skid shoes (spiked high heels (>2″ high) are not allowed)
    3. Clean long pants
    4. Cleanroom gloves
    5. Cleanroom jumpsuits
    6. Boots or shoe covers
    7. Head gear
    8. Visitors may use the disposable, Tyvek garments.
    9. Beard/mouth cover
  2. Badge in when entering the facility.
While in the facility:
  1. No smoking, eating or drinking (this includes chewing gum) in change room or facility is allowed
  2. Know and follow regulations listed in Cleanroom Facility Protocol.
  3. There must be at least two people within hearing range while working in the facility.
  4. Never touch or operate equipment unless you are an approved user.
  5. Always report any equipment alarms promptly.
  6. Always report injuries promptly.
  7. Always be alert to what is going on around you.
  8. Never hesitate to admit you have made a mistake. This can prevent equipment damage or personnel injuries.
  9. Participate in lab clean-ups.
  10. Use appropriate PPE when handling hazardous materials.
  11. Contact Campus Public Safety (911) in case of:
    1. Fire
    2. Any exposure to hazardous chemicals or gases
    3. Injuries that require immediate medical attention
    4. Major chemical spills
    5. Facility evacuation
 Particle Control


Along with safety, particle control is a fundamental part of the cleanroom environment. The MRC cleanrooms are a combination of class 100 and class 1000 cleanroom space. To maintain minimum cleanliness all garments will conform to a class 1000 requirements. The following chart illustrates the meaning of the cleanroom class type.

Gowning Procedure: 
Put face cover and hairnet first, then first set of nitrile gloves, and then put on the hood and the coveralls. Once the jumpsuit is on, verify that hood is inside the collar of jumpsuit. The boots/shoe covers are put on last. Put on second set of nitrile gloves.

To disrobe, remove boots/shoe covers, coveralls, and hood. When removing coveralls, do not allow arms to touch the floor. Attach boots to coveralls and place pant leg inside boots after garments are removed. Place on hangers for reuse.

Guidelines to maintain cleanroom environment:

  1. Tacky mats have been strategically located around entranceways to minimize the amounts of particles carried into cleanroom space via shoes. Do not bypass these mats.
  2. Cleanroom paper is the only paper allowed in this facility. Spiral and 3-ring notebooks of cleanroom paper are available at NCSU Bookstore or through various vendors, such as VWR. Manuals or flow sheets can be copied onto cleanroom paper.
  3. To maintain a cleanroom environment, while working in the facility no cosmetics or hair spray may be worn. Perfumes or colognes should not be applied prior to entering facility. Drink a cup of water, or wait at least fifteen minutes before entering the facility after smoking tobacco products.
  4. DO NOT enter change room with dirty shoes.
  5. Cleanroom gloves must be worn at all times in the clean room. If a glove’s exterior comes in contact with skin or a dirty, oily surface, the glove must be changed. If a glove rips or gets punctured, it must be changed.
  6. Wafer Handling: While inspecting a wafer, the other wafers must remain in the wafer box with lid in place, but not necessarily closed tight. Wafers must be covered when chase doors are open. Do not lean over the wafers when inspecting them. Never touch a wafer with a glove, not even the edge. Wafer handling devices need to be approved by the NNF staff before entering the clean room.
  7. Scribing: All scribing and cleaving must be done in designated area provided in the chemical storage area. After scribing, clean the work area. If a wafer breaks anywhere in the cleanroom, immediately vacuum thoroughly and wipe down the work surface.
  1. Comb hair in the change room.
  2. Bring food or drink into the change room or cleanroom.
  3. Chew gum or tobacco in the change room or cleanroom.
  4. Run or walk fast in the cleanroom under normal circumstances.
  1. Felt tip pens
  2. Pencils
  3. Liquid paper
  4. Notebooks constructed of regular paper.
  5. Cardboard or wood products
Bringing Items, Tools & Equipment into the Facility:
  1. Items that are cleanroom packaged may go through the change room. Remove outer layer of material in change room.
  2. Items that require wipe down need to go through the chemical storage room. In the anteroom (behind elevator), remove item from cardboard (if necessary) and remove packing materials. Gown up and enter cleanroom. Item can be brought into facility through the chemical storage room. At this point, wipe down all exposed surfaces with Isopropyl / DI water solution.
  3. If item has wheels that have been exposed, they will need to have cleanroom tape put on them. If you are required to use devices that aid in the moving of a tool, that device will also need to be wiped down and wheels taped.
  4. Wheeled items that go in and out of the cleanroom will have to be re-taped every time they go into cleanroom.
Equipment Usage


Certain tools in the cleanroom are operated by the NNF staff members, however, qualified users are given access to some of the NNF tools.  User qualification procedure consists of the folowing steps:

  1. The user notifies the tool owner that he/she is interested in being checked out on a tool.
  2. The tool owner provides detailed instructions to the trainee and demonstrates how the tool is used.  An NNF staff member or a senior graduate student may also provide this initial training to the trainee. Certification will be provided by the tool owner only.
  3. The trainee runs the tool on his/her own under the supervision of the tool owner.
  4. The tool owner or lab manager enters the trainee to the list of qualified users.

The following rules are strictly enforced:

  1. Only approved individuals whose name appears on each equipment list may operate that particular tool.
  2. All work must be approved by the NNF Laboratory Manager prior to use of equipment and directed by staff personnel.
  3. In the event of queuing, reservations are needed to establish order of use. Please pay attention to reservations. Many tools have a lot of usage and signing up for blocks of time is the only fair way to establish queuing. If you have signed up and find that you are unable to keep that time, remove your name as soon as possible to allow others to sign up. Failure to do so will incur in charges against your account.
  4. Tool settings can not be changed without permission of the facility manager or his/her designee.
  5. Fill in all required log sheets with all pertinent information.
  6. Violation of these rules for the first time will result in suspension of use of the tool for a week or more depending on the gravity of the violation. Repeated violations may result in loss of facility privileges indefinitely.
LockOut/TagOut (NNF Staff Only)



Users of the NNF facility must be familiar with the procedure below to the point of recognizing when a specific equipment is OUT of Service and under Lock-out/Tag-out. Only NNF staff are authorized to put equipment under the maintenance mode.

The purpose of lockout / tagout is to ensure that machines or equipment are isolated from all potentially hazardous energy, and locked out or tagged out before employees perform any servicing or maintenance. This is done to prevent unexpected start-up or release of stored energy that will cause an injury. Do not attempt to operate any switch, valve, or other energy isolating device when it is locked or tagged out. Use a tagout system only if an isolating device cannot be locked out or there is demonstration that a tagout system provides full employee protection.

Lockout / Tagout Procedure:

  1. Notify all affected employees that a lockout or tagout system is going to be used. The authorized employee shall know the type and magnitude of energy that the machine or equipment uses and shall understand its hazards.
  2. If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down by the normal stopping procedure (depress stop button, open toggle switch, etc.). DO NOT bypass interlocks.
  3. Operate the switch, valve, or other energy isolating device(s) to isolate the equipment from its energy source(s). Dissipate, deactivate or restrain stored energy (such as that in springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) by methods such as repositioning, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
  4. Lockout or tagout the energy isolating devices with assigned individual lock(s) or tag(s). Use the method(s) selected, i.e., locks, tags and additional safety measure, etc.
  5. To ensure personnel protection, and to check on the disconnection of the energy sources. Operate the push button or other normal operating controls to make certain the equipment will not operate. Caution: Return operating control(s) to “neutral” or “off” position after the test.
  6. The equipment is now locked out or tagged out

First Use After a Repair:

  1. After completing the service or maintenance and determining that the equipment is ready for normal production operations, check the area around the machines or equipment to ensure that everyone is clear.
  2. After removing all tools from the machine and reinstalling equipment guards and determining that all employees are in the clear, remove all lockout or tagout devices. Operate the energy isolating devices to restore energy to the machine or equipment.
Outside Contractors


Outside contractors must contact the NNF Laboratory Manager to discuss the nature of the work to be performed in the clean room facility.  No contractor can enter the laboratory without granting permission from the laboratory manager.  Contractors are to be escorted by the lab manager at all times.