Insturments

Analytical Instrumentation

The department maintains an extensive array of analytical instrumentation used by faculty and students in teaching and research projects.  Some of the instrumentation currently used:

JEOL Eclipse+ 300 MHz NMR

Varian Saturn Ion Trap GC-MS
Nicolet Avatar and 5ZDX FT-IRs

JEOL AccuTOF ElectroSpray LC-MS

Jasco P-1010 Polarimeter

ThermoElemental IRIS Advantage ICP-CID

HP 5890 GC-FID/TCD

Dionex DX-600 Ion Chromatograph

Sorvall SuperSpeed Centrifuge

HP 8453 UV/Vis Diode Array

Pharmacia Biotech Akta FPLC

Aminco-Bowman Spectrofluorometer

Parr 1266 Bomb Calorimeter

HP 5890/5970 Quadrapole GC-MS

Tronac 558 Calorimeter

Waters Isocratic HPLC

PE-560 Flame Atomic Absorption

PE- Zeeman/3030 Graphite Furnace AAS

PE-Lambda 4B Scanning UV/Vis

Fisher Microtiter Plate Reader

Protein Perfusion Chromatograph

Labconco Horizontal Clean Bench

Nikon AFX Microscope

New Brunswick BioFlo 3000 Bioreactor

Beckman Avanti Centrifuge

CEM Microwave Digesters 

BAS100A Electrochem Analyzer

Orion EA940 Titrator

Inert Atmosphere Glove Box

 

 

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Flame Atomic Absorption/Emission Spectrometer

Atomic spectrometers are mostly used to measure metal concentrations in solution.  Solutions are aspirated into a flame, where thermal energy atomizes the sample. The metal of interest emits or absorbs (from an element specific lamp focused through the flame) specific wavelengths of light.  The radiant power absorbed or emitted at various concentrations allow the determination of metals in complex samples such as lead in infant blood, arsenic in soil, or manganese in water.

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Gas Chromatograph

Gas chromatography is typically used to separate, identify, and/or quantify volatile compounds of a mixture.  A carrier gas passes through a 2-50 meter tube (column), which is either packed or coated with specifically designed and chosen materials.  Solutions are volatilized by syringe-injection into a heated zone, combined with carrier gas, and swept into the separation column.  Substances with strong affinity for the column material take longer to pass through than those with weaker affinity, resulting in a separation of the mixture.  Programming the column's oven temperature can enhance the separation.  Placing a detection device at the end of the column allows the identification and quantification of the bands or peaks as they elute from the column.  Non-volatile or thermally sensitive compounds are generally separated by liquid chromatography.
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Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer 

A GC-MS system combines the volatile compound separation technology of GC with the structure determination power of mass spectrometry, resulting in a single technique for separation, quantification, and identification of components in a volatile mixture.  GC column effluents are typically fed into an ionization chamber and bombarded with high energy electrons in order to ionize and fragment the mixture components as each elutes.  Ions are directed to a detection system through a mass selector, which is quickly scanned through a mass range producing a graphical plot of ion intensity vs. mass/charge ratio, as well as a plot of total ion vs. time. The total ion chromatogram peak area can be used to determine the amount a component present, while mass spectra contains molecular and fragment ion patterns that can help identify the substance.  The data collection workstation contains a mass spectral library of over 50,000 compounds that can be used for comparison.  Drug testing at the Olympics is usually done by GC-MS.
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Gas Chromatograph-Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer 

As with other GC-MS systems, an ion trap GC-MS system combines the volatile compound separation technology of GC with the structure determination power of mass spectrometry, resulting in a single technique for separation, quantification, and identification of components in a volatile mixture.  Additionally, the ion trap allows the formation of gaseous anions and cations that can be confined by the electric and/or magnetic fields for an extended period of time.  The trapping and re-fragmenting of these ions can provide additional information about the structure of the compound of interest.  
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Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer

An inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer is generally used to provide qualitative and quantitative information about metals in solution samples.  Using an inert, inductively heated, high temperature environment, efficient atomization and spectral emission by the elements of interest is generally observed when compared with other atomization techniques.  Combining the plasma with an echelle monochromator and two dimensional array charge injection device detection system makes the determination of many elements simultaneously possible. The axial orientation of the plasma provides limits of detection generally an order of magnitude lower than  radially oriented plasmas.  The computer workstation's spectral library aids in the identification of metals in unknown samples.

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Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer

Infrared spectroscopy is typically used to provide structural information about a substance of interest.  The substance is exposed to a range of infrared frequencies resulting in a graphical plot of radiant power absorbed (or transmitted) vs. frequency, wavelength, or wavenumber.  FT-IRs are equipped with a Michelson interferometer in order to simultaneously measure all infrared frequencies passing through a sample.  The resulting interferogram is deconvoluted by a Fourier analysis.  The resulting spectrum is a useful molecular fingerprint often employed by forensic labs to analyze fibers, paint chips, or countless other types of  samples in solid, liquid, or gaseous form.  The data collection workstation contains an infrared spectral library of over 50,000 compounds that can be used for comparison.
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Polarimeter

Enantiomeric compounds (optical isomers) are identical in almost all of their physical and chemical properties.  One notable exception is the direction of rotation of the plane of vibration of plane-polarized light.  Plane polarized light is light in which all wave vibrations have been filtered out except for those in one plane.  The polarimeter is used to polarize light and then show the angle of rotation of the plane of vibration by the optically active compound placed in the light path.  The amount of rotation depends on the structure of the molecule, temperature wavelength and concentration.  Polarimeters can be used to follow the course of reactions between chiral compounds.

UV/Vis Diode Array Spectrophotometer 

UV/Vis spectrophotometry is typically used to provide quantitative or structural information about a substance.  Samples are generally placed in a small cuvette and exposed to ultraviolet and visible light.  The frequencies of unabsorbed light are dispersed and directed onto a detection system constructed with a linear array of light sensitive diodes.  This array allows the instantaneous measurement of the complete UV/Vis spectrum, rather than monitoring a single frequency.  The computer workstation allows for timed events to be monitored.  An important use of diode array instruments  is to study enzyme kinetics.

UV/Vis Scanning Spectrophotometer 

UV/Vis spectrophotometry is typically used to provide quantitative or structural information about a substance.  Samples are generally placed in a small cuvette and exposed to ultraviolet and/or visible light.  The frequencies of unabsorbed light are focused onto a photomultiplier tube detection system using a double beam design.  Spectral bandwidths of 0.25 nm are possible.  Timed measurements are possible at fixed wavelengths for kinetic studies.

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Spectrofluorometer

Fluorescence involves the absorption of light, from a light source, by a substance, followed rapidly by an emission of light, at a lower frequency, by the substance.  Relatively few substance exhibit this phenomenon making fluorescence a highly selective technique.  Fluorescence is typically observed instrumentally at a right angle to the excitation light source resulting in a highly sensitive technique.   Fluorescence is the detection technique commonly used in protein and DNA sequencing, and in the detection of many environmental pollutants.

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NMR Spectrometer

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy is probably the most important technique used today for the structural study of organic and inorganic compounds.  Substances are placed into a large magnetic field (commonly a superconducting magnet using a wire coil cooled to 4 K in a reservoir of liquid helium).  The spinning nucleus of an atom either aligns with or against the externally applied magnetic field.  Radio frequency radiation is used to "flip" the nuclear spin.  The frequency absorbed by a nucleus is determined by the local electron density near each nucleus and by the geometry of the molecule.  NMR spectra are used to determine protein structure and for countless other applications.

High Performance Liquid Chromatograph

Liquid chromatography is typically used to separate, identify, and/or quantify compounds in a mixture.  A carrier solution (mobile phase) is forced by means of a pump, through a 10-30 centimeter tube, or column, which is packed with a specifically designed and chosen material.  Mixture solutions are syringe-injected into the mobile phase and carried into the separation column.  Substances with strong affinity for the packing material take longer to pass through than those with weaker affinity, resulting in a separation of the mixture. The mobile phase can be held in a fixed composition (isocratic mode) or varied to enhance the separation by using multiple pumps and a controller (gradient elution mode). Placing a detection device at the end of the column allows the identification and quantification of the bands or peaks as they elute from the column.  HPLC is an important technique for the pharmaceutical industry, used to determine the purity of medications and to quantify therapeutic components.  It is also widely used in the flavor and environmental industries.  Volatile mixtures are commonly analyzed by gas chromatography.

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Ion Chromatograph

Ion chromatography is a form of liquid chromatography in which the substances of interest usually carry a formal charge.  The column packing material contains ionic sites, that have an attraction for oppositely charged .  These sites serve as ion exchangers.  Ions are separated based on their charge and size. Ion chromatography is a widely used technique for the analysis of ions in environmental samples.

Electrochemical Analyzer (BAS100A)

Electrochemical analysis is a widely used technique for analyzing substances in our bodies that can be easily reduced or oxidized.  Since many biochemical processes involve redox reactions, there are many useful applications of these techniques.  Electrochemical analysis is also useful for the trace detection of metals.

Inert Atmosphere Glove Box

The inert atmosphere glove box, or sometimes "dry box",  is used for the synthesis, storage and manipulation of air or moisture sensitive materials. The workspace is typically filled with nitrogen, argon or other inert gas providing a dry, air free environment. Arm-length gloves and viewing window provide a means of working with materials inside the chamber. An antechamber, which can be evacuated or flooded with inert gas allows introducing materials or equipment from the room into the inert atmosphere. Glove boxes have a central and indispensable role in the study of air-sensitive compounds. 

Protein Perfusion Chromatograph

Protein perfusion chromatography is an advanced technique for the rapid separation of proteins.  Samples pass through small beads that have pores specially designed for protein separation.  Effluents are collected and repurified.  This instrument is used to separate cell components to obtain pure protein samples for crystallization and for structure determination with X-Ray diffraction. 

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