Training and Assistance

  • Regular usage of the SOA instruments requires training and certification by the SOA manager. Please contact Dr. Zhorro Nikolov at znikolov@uakron.edu to schedule training or assisted work.
  • Training rates are the same as the usage rates and training is performed on the users’ samples.
  • The duration of the training depends on the particular instrument and on the modes of operation that the user will need, as well as on the progress made with learning to operate the instrument.
  • Fully staff assisted work is offered to all researchers at the usage rates. Up to 2 hours staff assisted use per month are available for researchers that need to use the instruments occasionally. Extended hours of staff assisted work can be offered in certain cases depending on the complexity of the analysis and the availability of the manager.
  • Trained users who have not used particular instrument for more than 6 months may need to have refreshment training at the discretion of the manager.
  • Any training of new users by already trained certified users or letting unauthorized persons work on the instruments is not allowed and the violators will have their privileges of using the instruments revoked.


  • The usage time is charged at 10 min increments with a minimum charge of 30 min.
  • Users must record the usage time and analysis information in the log sheets close to the instruments after each use. Providing inaccurate data can lead to cancelling the privilege of using the instruments.
  • There are no charges for sample preparation by staff within training or assistance sessions.
  • Training rates are the same as the usage rates and training is performed on the users’ samples.
  • UA advisors are responsible for providing valid billing account numbers and updating them if needed.
  • External usage is invoiced monthly and payment can be:
    • By check payable to The University of Akron and mailed to Dr. Z. Nikolov at our contact address here
    • By credit card here
  • An estimate of the usage time and charges can be provided by the manager based on information about the requested analysis as provided by the user.


  • Certified users must reserve time on the instruments using the online reservation system and must record the usage time and information on the performed work in the log sheets close to the instruments.
  • Usage must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance.
  • If needed, reservations should be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance and the manager should be informed if cancellation is during the day of scheduled usage.


  • All users of the XPS and the Micro CT must provide a copy of the training document for completion of the University of Akron Radiation Safety Training before any work on these instruments is done. Please contact Jason McNicholas at jbm@uakron.edu for scheduling the training.
  • Work outside normal working hours, on nights and on weekends needs to be done in accordance with the University safety policies and should be scheduled accordingly.


  • When publishing or presenting results obtained in this Facility, we kindly request you to acknowledge the use of the particular instrument(s) in the SOA Facility of the Institute of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and the contribution/assistance of staff or faculty. Please also acknowledge support by DOE and ABIA that made possible the acquisition of these instruments.
  • Please forward to us any publications or presentations that include usage of the SOA instruments. A database of such documents will be available in the future on this website to assist prospective users with examples and choices for analysis.