Group Policies

1. Solvent waste: Once the liquid waste in the waste bottle reaches 85% of the entire bottle, you must empty the waste bottle. The large red container of liquid waste is under the middle sink of room 245. It will be a big messy if the liquid waste overflows, as indicated in the large nasty spill in room 245. Close the cap of the waste bottles when you are not using it.

2. Solvent cabinets: Always close the solvent cabinets (white and yellow) in room 245 after you take or return solvents. Most of organic solvents are volatile and flammable, so you do want to make sure that they are stored in a closed system. This is very important for your safety and your health (as well as your labmates’).

3. Fume hoods: Keep the sash closed when you are not using the fume hood. Again, this is vital for your safety and your health.

4Instrument: Everyone should clean up the instrument immediately after using them. It is not respectful to your labmates if you leave them dirty. Below are the detailed policies for some of the instruments:

   Balance: Clean the balance and the bench if you spill any chemicals onto it. Wash the spatula with appropriate solvents (acetone or dichloromethane for organic compounds; water followed by acetone for water-soluble compounds) and wipe them with Kimwipes. Return them to the drawer in timely fashion. Dispose all the used weighing paper. Put the chemicals back to the correct location.

   Combiflash (auto purification system): Clean the instrument and all the glassware after you are done. Only use this instrument when I am around until I authorize that you can use it by yourself. This rule also applies to the GC and GC/MS, which should arrive in a week.

   Rotavap: Before you start, empty the collection flask if there are any solvents in it. Clean the bump trap if it is not clean enough. During the distillation, make sure that there is enough dry ice in the cold trap. NEVER leave the rotavap unattended for a long time. (The very nice and quite vacuum pump costs more than $3000 for each, and organic solvents can easily destroy them if the cold trap is not cold enough. I prefer to spend this amount of money inviting the entire group for a nice group dinner than fixing/replacing the vacuum pumps). After you are done, empty the collection flask and clean the bump trap.


5. Undergraduate Students: Before the group members become more mature (hopefully in a year a two), every undergraduate student still works directly under my guidance. Basically, undergrads are as important as graduate students in every project. Undergrads work WITH NOT FOR graduate students. All of the undergrads discuss the lab affairs (when to come to the lab/what experiments to set up) directly with me. I do want to make sure that every student in my lab will become a better scientist rather than a better dish cleaner.

6. Schedule: I have worked out the schedule with everyone. If you cannot make it (rarely) due to other very important affairs, DO let me know in advance. I spend a large amount of time planning experiments for everyone everyday. So, if you cannot show up at required time without keeping me informed, I will be really upset.

7. Vacation: Standard vacation time should be limited to 4 weeks a year (for graduate students). This includes all the national holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year. Please email me your holiday travel plan in advance. With people coming and going over during the break, it is good for lab safety to know who will plan to be in and when.