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User Agreement: Sphera Electron Microscope

The Sphera Transmission Electron Microscope is a 200kV Lab6 screening microscope suitable for basic negative stain work, equipped with a Gatan 2k x 2k CCD camera, and access to Leginon for automated data collection. A Gatan 626 side-entry cryo holder is available.

Prerequisites for independent use of the Sphera requires completion of the following training path or
demonstrated proficiency:

  • New User Orientation
  • Negative Stain and Wet Lab
  • Sphera Training
    • 2 – 4 hour 1 on 1 training sessions with facility staff
    • 4 – 1 hour observation sessions with an independent user
    • 30 hours of supervised instrument time logged
    • Final approval by facility staff by demonstration of proficiency


  • Reservations are not required and available on demand in Express Logon
  • Reservations can be made 14 days in advance
  • 4 hour time limit during primetime facility hours (9AM-5PM)
  • Cancellations allowed up to 1 hour before the reservation time without incurring a charge
  • Users must log in to FOM upon arrival and start of work
  • Users must log off in FOM upon completion of work
  • Charges will be based on earlier of reserved or actual start time – later of reserved or actual end
  • No shows will be charged for reserved time
  • Damage to equipment due to negligence or improper use will be charged to the originating lab
  • All data is offloaded to an external server. The facility will not store data long term. Users must
    download their data from this server within 24 hours after which it is subject to deletion without

Recharge Rates

  • Internal Collaborative Use**:   $156.00/hr
  • Internal Supervised Use:   $106.00/hr
  • Internal Independent Use:   $56.00/hr

**Collaborative use time on Sphera is scheduled on a case by case basis under special circumstances. This microscope is intended as educational instrument and for supervised and independent users. The UCSD CryoEM facility staff does not typically perform fee for service work on this microscope.