Usage Rates

From the KNI Lab at Caltech
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Overview of KNI Lab User Fees
Rates below are valid beginning October 1, 2022 and are subject to change

  • Fees are incurred on a pay-as-you-go basis (tools are charged by the hour or portion thereof).
  • Caltech/JPL/Academic or Government lab members are NOT charged any Lab fees during days or months of non-use

Note: New users must submit a New User Form and attend general KNI Lab safety training before lab access or further tool training is allowed.

Caltech & JPL Usage Rates

Below is a table of direct hourly rates for lab and equipment use in the KNI Laboratory. Hourly rates are applied to an individual's actual usage in the KNI Lab. Discounted hourly rates are "unlocked" for hours that exceed the thresholds listed below. Tier C indicates the maxiumum number of hours a user will be charged in a given calendar month. Rates shown below do not include F&A/overhead. Overhead will be applied separately based on the PTA. Customers will be invoiced on a quarterly basis. Rates are valid beginning October 1, 2022 and are subject to change upon review at the end of FY23 Q2. Rates below apply to internal Caltech or JPL users.

Equipment Name Lab Area Hourly Rate
General Lab General KNI Lab Use* $37.50
Raith EBPG 5000+ Electron Beam Writer Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) $120
Raith EBPG 5000+ Electron Beam Writer Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) $120
Oxford Dielectric System 100 ICP/RIE Etch, Reactive Ion (RIE) $45
Oxford DRIE System 100 ICP/RIE Etch, Reactive Ion (RIE) $45
Oxford III-V System 100 ICP/RIE Etch, Reactive Ion (RIE) $45
Plasmatherm Reactive Ion Etch Etch, Reactive Ion (RIE) $45
Oxford FlexAl ALD/ALE System Deposition, Chemical Vapor $60
Oxford PECVD System 100 Deposition, Chemical Vapor $60
AJA Chalcogenide Sputterer Deposition, Physical $30
AJA Dielectric Sputterer Deposition, Physical $30
AJA E-beam Evaporator (estim. Dec arrival) Deposition, Physical $30
CHA MK40 E-Beam Evaporator Deposition, Physical $30
Lesker Labline E-Beam Evaporator Deposition, Physical $30
FEI Nova 600 Dualbeam Focused Ion Beam Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam (FIB) $70
Zeiss Orion NanoFab Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam (FIB) $70
FEI Nova 200 NanoLab Dualbeam SEM Microscopy, Scanning Electron (SEM) $35
FEI Quanta ESEM /NPGS Microscopy, Scanning Electron (SEM) $35
FEI Sirion FESEM Microscopy, Scanning Electron (SEM) $35
FEI Tecnai TF-30 TEM, STEM, EDS & HAADF Microscopy, Transmission Electron (TEM) $130
Nanoscribe Photonic Professional GT 2D/3D Print $15
3D Printer (TBA) 2D/3D Print $15

General Lab Use is counted as time in the KNI cleanroom facility. It includes access to: - Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) - Critical Point Dryer - Laser Interference Lithography System - Mask Aligners - Parylene Coater - Profilometer - Scriber Breaker - Spectroscopic Ellipsometer - Tube Furnaces (Wet, Dry Oxide + Annealing) - Wafer Bonder - Wafer Stepper - Wet Chemistry Room/general chemical supplies - Wire Bonder - XeF2 Silicon Etcher - TEM prep area (in Keck) - Other tools not listed in the table above

Miscellaneous Rates

  • Precious Metal (gold and platinum) usage will be billed the market rate, per gram.
  • Dedicated KNI Staff Labor/Support for Research is $100/hr.

MONTHLY TIERED RATES Discounts are applied on an individual user basis for hours accrued in a specific Lab Area during a given calendar month.

Lab Area Tier A Tier A Hourly Rate Tier B Tier B Hourly Rate Tier C Tier C Hourly Rate
Electron Beam Lithography (EBL) Up to 24 hours $120 24-48 hours $60 Over 48 hours $0
Etch, Reactive Ion (RIE) Up to 15 hours $45 15-30 hours $22.50 Over 30 hours $0
Deposition, Chemical Vapor Up to 10 hours $60 10-20 hours $30 Over 20 hours $0
Deposition, Physical Up to 10 hours $30 10-20 hours $15 Over 20 hours $0
Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam (FIB) Up to 15 hours $70 15-30 hours $35 Over 30 hours $0
Microscopy, Scanning Electron (SEM) Up to 15 hours $35 15-30 hours $17.50 Over 30 hours $0
Microscopy, Transmission Electron (TEM) Up to 16 hours $130 16-32 hours $65 Over 32 hours $0
2D/3D Print Up to 50 hours $15 50-100 hours $7.50 Over 100 hours $0
General Lab Use Up to 32 hours $37.50 32-64 hours $18.75 Over 64 hours $0

Example: A lab member logs 25 cumulative hours on the Lesker e-beam evaporator and the AJA dielectric sputterer in the month of October. Based on the thresholds listed above for the "Physical Deposition" Area (which includes the Lesker and AJA tools), the costs are: (10 hours x $30) + (10 hours x $15) + (5 hours x $0) = $450 for 25 hours. During that same calendar month, the same user logs 40 total hours in the general KNI lab facility and 5 hours on the spectroscopic ellipsometer, which is included in the "General Lab" Area. Those costs are: (32 hours x $37.50) + (8 hours x $18.75) = $1,350 for 40 hours. The lab member's total October direct costs are $1,800.


  • Non-Caltech Academic, Government, and Corporate KNI lab members will be subject to Caltech's F&A (indirect/"overhead") costs. The F&A rate for fiscal year 2023 is 70%.

Internal (Caltech and JPL) users will also have overhead applied to their charges. The overhead is accounted for in the back end of the internal charging process and the overhead rate is dependent on the PTA used to pay for the KNI Lab fees. If you have questions about this, please check with your grants manager.*

External/Corporate Memberships

For information on the KNI corporate lab membership plan, please send an email to with details regarding 1) the number of people looking to join as KNI lab members, 2) equipment needs, 3) anticipated start date, and 4) information about the company. Startup companies may qualify for limited-term reduced rates. Additional paperwork is required, including a Facilities Use Agreement, purchase order, and an External Affiliate appointment. This process may take a few weeks before an external user is able to start in the KNI Lab.