Professor Ryan RichardsThe instructional and research laboratories located in the Chemistry Department contain extensive instrumentation for gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, ion chromatography, supercritical-fluid chromatography, inductively-coupled-plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, field-flow fractionation, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (solids and liquids), infrared spectrophotometry, visible-ultraviolet spectrophotometry, microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry, and thermogravimetric analysis.



500 MHz liquids-only open-access system, capable of measuring 1H, 13C, 19F and 31P nuclei. Includes 24-position sample changer with VT capabilities.


400 MHz solids-only system. Has multiple experimental capabilities, including MAS “Magic Angle Spinning,” diffusion and VT “Variable Temperature.”

Anasazi EFT-60

Pulsed Fourier Transform Spectrometer. Used for low-resolution 1-D, 1H NMR spectra. This system utilizes an old Varian EM-360 permanent magnet, with the remaining hardware, including probe, control electronics and software, supplied by Anasazi Instruments.

Mass Spectrometry

Applied Biosystems Voyager-DE STR

MALDI-TOF instrument that incorporates a low-power N2 laser of high-power YAG laser for ionization. Can be used in linear “high sensitivity” or reflector “high resolution” modes. Mass range of 100-100K M/Z.

Varian 1200L

GC/MS system. Triple quad analyzer with MS/MS capabilities. Has both EI and CI modes of ionization with a CP-3800 Varian GC on the front end for separation. Installed column is a Restek RXI-5SIL MS with the following specs: a .25mm ID with a 30M length. This column is a good general-purpose column typically used for analysis of non-polar samples like polycyclic aromatic compounds, chlorinated hydrocarbons, phthalates, phenols, amines, organochlorine pesticides, organophosphorus pesticides, drugs, solvent impurities and hydrocarbons.

Perkin Elmer NexION 300Q ICP MS

ICP-MS system. Used for the analysis of many inorganic compounds including elemental metals and some non-metals. Sensitivities are in the PPB to PPT range.

Liquid Chromatography

Viscotek GPCmax

Gel permeation chromatography system. This is a type of size-exclusion chromatography system that separates molecules based on their physical size or hydrodynamic volume as opposed to chemical interaction between column stationary phase and analyte. Useful technique for determining approximate molecular weights of large molecule samples. There is an RI and UV/VIS detector used to detect samples as they elute from the column.

Thermo Electron LC System

This is a standard HLPC system utilizing a P2000 binary pumping system with manual injector. There is a choice of three different detection systems: UV, fluorescence and RI. There is currently a standard C18 30CM column being utilized, but this can easily be swapped out to accommodate a column the researcher prefers.

Gas Chromatography

Perkin-Elmer AutoSystems

Three GC/FID instruments with a recently upgraded data system. All three systems are set up to use their flame ionization detectors (FID), but one of the three instruments is equipped with a thermal conductivity-type detector (TCD) and one has an electron capture detector (ECD).

Multi-Angle Light Scattering

Wyatt Dawn Heleos-III

18-angle light scattering detector used for the measurement of absolute molecular weight, size and conformation of macromolecules in solution. Includes an Optilab T-rex RI Refractive Index detector. System can be operated in two modes: batch mode sample in vial offline or online plumbed to the above Thermo Electron LC system.

UV/VIS Spectrometry

Thermo Electron Evolution-300

UV/VIS spectrometer that uses a xenon light source combined with an optical monochromator that allows scanning of wavelength from 190nm to 1100nm while recording either absorbance or transmittance.

FT-IR Spectroscopy

Thermo Electron Nicolet 4700

FT-IR spectrometer. Useful took for determining structural information about organic molecules based on the absorption of IR radiation at specific frequencies ranging from 4000 cm-1 to 400 cm-1. The resulting spectrum can then be interpreted to identify specific functional groups within the analyzed sample.

Fluorescence Spectrometry

Photon Technology International QuantaMaster 40

Steady State Spectrofluorometer. Instrument has the ability to plot excitation λ/energy and fluorescence λ/energy. Applications include measuring chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, polarization/anisotropy and many more.

Thermal Analysis

Seiko TG/DTA 320

Thermal gravimetric analysis or differential thermal analysis capable instrument that incorporates a furnace with an upper range of 1300 C. Has a maximum sample quality of 10-20mg.

TA Instruments Q20 DSC

Differential scanning calorimetry instrument used for detecting phase transitions of materials plotted against temperature. Depending on the direction of the slope, it can also be determined whether the process is exothermic or endothermic. There are currently two of these instruments in the same lab.

Elemental Analysis

Perkin Elmer PinAAcle 900T AA

Atomic absorption spectrometer used for determining presence and quantity of many elemental compounds. This system incorporates autosampler capabilities for either flame atomization or the graphite furnace. System can quickly be changed between flame and furnace.

Perkin Elmer Optima 5300 DV

Optical emission spectrometer can be used for applications similar to ICP/MS and can quantify the amounts of particular metals and semiconductors in solution. The main difference between this instrument and the ICP/MS is the detection method and the method used to create the plasma. In addition, the sensitivity of this instrument is in the PPB to PPM range, whereas the ICP has LODs down to parts per trillion.


Gamry Series G 300/750 Potentiostat

This instrument acts as a potentiostat, galvanostat and ZRA, zero resistance ammeter. Can be used for physical electrochemistry, corrosion measurements, electrochemical noise measurement and sensor development. This system can also perform EIS, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, which allows frequency to be changed while monitoring a change in impedance. Can be useful when trying to determine certain electrochemical characteristics of newly synthesized materials. We have three of these systems in the same lab.

Malvern Zetasizer nano ZS

Instrument has the capability to measure particle sizes from 0.6nm to 8.9-micron range in solution. The instrument also has the ability to measure ζ-potential, which represents a degree of repulsion between adjacent similarly charged particles also known as electro-kinetic potential. It can be configured in either batch or flow modes and utilizes a manufacturer-supplied cuvette for measuring ζ-potential.

Microwave Synthesis

CEM Discover

Low power single sample microwave digestion, synthesis and reaction system that can greatly reduce development times. Can control reaction based on pressure, temperature or microwave power. Max microwave power of 300W with a temperature range of -80 to 300 C. Sample volumes of .2 to 50 ml.


Higher power multi-sample system that can accept up to 24 samples at the same time. Large sample volumes relative to the Discover instrument and higher powers up to 1800W. System also includes high-pressure vessels for conducting high pressure/high temperature reactions.


Thermolyn Muffle Furnace

Old Muffle furnace with an updated electronic controller. Capable of temperatures over 1000 C.