Using the NSQI

The Centre for NSQI is managed by the School of Physics, but is a University-wide resource for anybody who is working in either the Nanoscience or Quantum Information fields.

Accessing the Centre

While use of the NSQI LNL is 'free' to the researcher, a successful applicant will have either:

  • sufficient FEC funds from current grants to cover the spaces used
  • backing from their School or Faculty to cover the cost on their behalf
  • external funding sufficient to cover the full costs

As LNL running costs are annually apportioned to Schools/Faculties, based upon actual usage in the previous year, you will need to have the approval of your School and/or Faculty Manager for your application to the NSQI LNL. Please obtain approval for this prior to submitting an application. Use of NSQI LNL is a selective process based upon the need to use low noise laboratories and on the achievement of research outcomes.

Main research project applications

  • New projects: even if you already have another project running in the building, you are required apply to Physics for a new project. Please contact Steve Neck to discuss.
  • New researchers: we ask you to fill out a new access form through the Physics intranet.
  • New experiments: adding new experiments within a project requires new risk assessments to be written.


  • Induction: assuming a successful application, building and lab inductions will be carried out by the Lab Manager.
  • Risk assessment: a new risk assessment for your work will need to be completed or existing assessment signed up to.

Meetings and seminars

  • The Centre has a 60-seater seminar room, a bookable foyer space and small meeting room. These are available to those in the NSQI community to book and use. Contact Alex Martin ( / x40001) for more information. 

Lab visits

  • The Centre welcomes visits by dignitaries, researchers, industrial partners and students. However, this is a multi-user building and a visit is a disruptive event. Therefore we ask that prior notice is given (five working days minimum), so that we can check with other Centre users and make any arrangements necessary (scientific, security, safety etc.).


Please check the Physics guidelines for clearing labs before you begin.

Lab clearance

  • All chemicals or other potentially hazardous material and equipment not accompanying you must be disposed of properly. Later users of a laboratory should never be left with a legacy of abandoned and potentially hazardous material or faulty/unusable equipment.
  • All work areas should be left clean and tidy.
  • If chemicals/samples are to be saved, then responsibility for them can be transferred to another person currently working in the NSQI who is willing to accept the responsibility and who has indicated such willingness in writing. If no such person can be found, dispose of the material in the proper way.
  • Waste disposal routes are outlined on the Physics safety pages.
  • Ensure that all containers of chemicals/particles/bio samples/cultures are properly labelled with their name (not just a sample code) and are securely closed.
  • Empty, clean and, if necessary, return to the Prep areas all beakers, flasks and other glassware.
  • Check and, if necessary, clean refrigerators, freezers, fume hoods and bench tops as well as cupboards for chemicals/particles/samples. Give particular attention to shared storage areas.
  • Remove from the laboratory and dispose of safely all unwanted or obsolete equipment. For larger pieces, obtain the advice and help of the Lab Manager. Do not transfer refrigerators and freezers directly to waste without the removal of refrigerants and for other equipment contaminating material, e.g. oil.
  • Clean and decontaminate any equipment that is to be left (glassware, vacuum lines, exhaust lines, pump oil, filters, centrifuges, IR, UV etc). Supply custom built equipment with precise operating instructions and an operating risk assessment.
  • Return gas cylinders to the Gas Store.
  • You must inform your Research Supervisor and the Physics Technical Team when the laboratory has been cleared and record his/her approval.

Office Clearance

  • Ensure that any office space that has been used by you whilst working in the NSQI is cleared of all personal belongings, books, papers etc. Desks should be left clean & tidy.
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