About Mail-in at Mid-IR

How the mail-in program works:

In the mail-in program at Mid-IR the user prepares the sample and mails it to the Mid-IR beamline. Data collection is run by beamline staff.

Two pathways

  1. Mail-in due to covid - general users program
  2. Mail-in as a fee based service

For the general user program mail-in, the user designs the experiment, mails samples and analyzes the data. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the samples are appropriate for the desired measurements, the measurement parameters are determined before beam time and the user is available for communication during the beam time.

For the fee based service, the user has the choice of level of involvement and the fee for the service will reflect that. If you are interested, please contact us to find out more information!

Communicating During Beamtime

Beamline staff will work with your samples and collect data at the determined regions of interest with previously decided parameters. The user should be available as much as possible to answer questions and help staff manage the experimental run.

There are many options for communication. Please make a plan with beamline staff before your beam time for communication method.

  1. Microsoft Teams (preferred)
  2. phone/text
  3. email
  4. other, specify.

Preparing samples

As much of the sample preparation as possible should be done at the user's home institution. Consideration should be made to insure the sample is stored securely and isn't damaged during shipment. The beamline staff are available to do sample mounting and other basic sample preparation. Preparation requirements should be agreed upon well before beam time and detailed instructions provided.

Information for general preparation of sample suitable for infrared measurements can be found in the sample section of the user guide.

For mail-in experiments it is important there is a fiduciary mark or an identifying feature on the sample that can be used for sample alignment, size determination, and locating the predetermined regions of interest.

Experiment planning

Since you, the user, will not be the one controlling the instrument, it is important to make a detailed experimental plan before your beam time. This should detailed information about each sample, a priority ranking if you have more than one sample / region on interest. Parameters including, objective, scan size, number of scans and spectral resolution will all need to be determined prior to beam time. You can use the estimator wizard to determine a reasonable experimental plan for your allotted beam time.

Please connect with beamline staff before your beam time to discuss your plan and confirm its feasibility.

Mailing samples


Please see details in Shipping section on how to mail your samples to Mid-IR.

Samples can be shipped refrigerated or frozen if necessary and it is possible to store them in the fridge or the freezer when they arrive. If the measurement timing of sample is time sensitive, please make sure beamline staff know!

Data transfer and analysis

file transfer.jpg

At the end of your beam time, you will be contacted that your experimental run is complete and will be given a timeline on when to expect your data. Data can be transferred in a number of ways fast or slow. The user can send a link to an uploading virtual drive such as OneDrive or send USB drives or Hard drives and the data can be mailed to the user.

For the general user program, data analysis is the responsibility of the user, but beamline staff are here to help! If you don't know where to start, please read the data analysis user guide, watch tutorials and test out sample workflows. And of course, don't hesitate to contact us with your questions.