Facilities and Laboratories
Our Chemistry Department offices and laboratories are located on the second and third floors of Pfahler Hall of Science. Pfahler Hall was entirely renovated and expanded in the late 1990s, ensuring that all equipment and all study and laboratory facilities are up-to-date. The department has the following labs:
Located in Pfahler Hall 301, the Advanced Chemistry Laboratory supports the teaching of the laboratories for Advanced General Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, and Inorganic Chemistry courses.
This laboratory equipped with six hoods was designed to support our upper-level laboratory courses as well as laboratories for advanced general chemistry and non-major chemistry laboratory courses (forensic and environmental chemistry).
The S.M. Lovett Laboratory of Biochemistry, named in honor of Sandra M. (B.S. 1955) Lovett, class of ’55, is a state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to protein and nucleic acids research and teaching.
The spacious fully-equipped lab in Pfahler 201, with approximately 1000 square feet of floor space, receives significant outdoor light from its two exterior window-containing walls. It has a chemical prep/storage room with a large Getinge Castle 122 autoclave for sterilization of media. Adjacent to the lab is a walk-in cold room capable of supporting virtually any temperature-sensitive biological work.
Major laboratory equipment include:
- aminar flow (sterile) hood
- four chemical fume hoods
- four variable-temperature incubators
- New Brunswick C25 incubator/shaker
- four water bath shakers
- lyophilizer (freeze dryer)
- four table-top (two Beckman Coulter Allegra 6, one refrigerated Beckman Allegra 21R and one refrigerated Beckman GS-15R) centrifuges with various fixed-angle and swinging-bucket rotors
- Eppendorf 5417R refrigerated microcentrifuge
- refrigerated Beckmann Coulter Avanti J-25 super speed centrifuge with various-capacity fixed-angle rotors
- refrigerated Beckmann Optima L-90K ultracentrifuge with various fixed-angle and swinging-bucket rotors
- Genius PCR thermocycler
- microwave oven
- glassware oven
The lab and all of the equipment have been acquired since 1999, and some was generously donated by the VWR Corporation. The lab, accommodating sixteen students at four large benches, is fully wired for internet access and has ample glassware and consumable supplies to support the teaching of biochemistry and molecular biology. Also available for use to students in biochemistry are UV/vis spectrophotometers, FT-IR spectrophotometers, and a flourimeter.
The W.S. Pettit General Chemistry laboratory, named in honor of William Schuyler Pettit, former president and chemistry faculty, is located on the third floor of Pfahler Hall, room 314. The lab is dedicated to the teaching of general chemistry.
The departmental stockroom and a balance room are situated within the general chemistry lab. The general chemistry curriculum is designed to cover the same topics as the lecture and includes experimentation in:
- qualitative analysis
- volumetric analysis
- gravimetric analysis
- molecular modeling
The lab is equipped with nine full-size fume hoods, a balance room, bench space for water baths, spectrometer, and specialized equipment. Each student is assigned to his/her own locker which contains laboratory glassware to perform experiments.
Located in Pfahler Hall, room 316, the general instrumental laboratory has the primary concentration of instrumentation. All instruments are available for research and course use.
General Instrumentation in the Instrumental Laboratory:
- Perkin–Elmer Spectrum Two Infrared (FT/IR) Spectrometer
- Thermometric TAM Isothermal Calorimeter
- Hewlett–Packard 5890 Gas Chromatograph (GC) Connected to 5971A Mass Spectrometer (MS)
- Horiba Jobin Yvon FluoroMax 4 Fluorescence Spectrometer
- Agilent 5977 Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)
- Cary 1 UV-Visible Molecular Absorption Spectrometer
- Jasco UV-NIR Molecular Absorption Spectrometer
- Agilent 8453 Diode Array UV-Vis Spectrometer
- Anasazi 60 MHz NMR Spectrometer
- Buck Scientific Model 210 Flame Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectrometer
- Agilent Model 1100 High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) attached to a Perkin–Elmer Sciex Model 2000 Mass Spectrometer (MS)
- Malvern Zetasizer nano-ZS ZEN3600
- Pine Research WaveNow Electrochemical system
- Molecular Devices FilterMax F5
- Agilent 7820 Gas Chromatograph (GC) with 5977B Mass Spectrometer (MS)
- TA Instruments SDT 2960 Simultaneous DSC-TGA
- TA Instruments DSC 2920 Differential Scanning Calorimeter
Located in the lower level of Pfahler Hall, room 017, the NMR laboratory provides a dedicated space for the 300 MHz Bruker Avance HD Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer to support both teaching and research.
This laboratory and analytical instrumentation is used by organic chemistry laboratory courses and upper-level chemistry laboratory courses as well as supporting chemistry; biochemistry and molecular biology; and health and exercise physiology students in their research. Faculty and students utilize this instrument to determine the identity and structure of molecules that they synthesize or discover.
Acquisition of the Bruker NMR instrumentation for the laboratory was made possible through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation Program grant.
The J. R. Lovett Organic Chemistry Laboratory, named in honor of J. Robert (Bob) Lovett class of ’53, is dedicated to the teaching of organic chemistry.
Located in Pfahler Hall 315, the twenty-four person laboratory, provides each student his or her own individual working space, including a four-foot hood equipped with vacuum, cold water with cup sink, and natural gas. Mantles and variable transformers allow for flame-less heating. Maple wood casework lockers are stocked with basic lab equipment, as well as sets of 19/22 standard taper and microscale glassware. Two adjoining side rooms complement the main part of the laboratory—one equipped with two FT-infrared spectrometers and two GC/MS instruments; the other, melting point apparatus, balances, and refractometers. Safety features include fire extinguishers, two eye-washes, drench hoses at each sink, two emergency showers, and a metal cabinet for flammable materials. Several hoods are used for the dispensing of reagents and the collection of spent chemicals. The laboratory, with an exterior wall of glass, permits natural light to permeate the room. The air-handling system provides 100% tempered air exchange, ensuring excellent air quality.
The physical chemistry laboratory provides space for students to conduct experiments on physical properties of substances, reaction thermodynamic parameters (enthalpy, energy), rates of chemical reactions, and spectroscopic determination of molecular properties.
The laboratory, in Pfahler Hall 302, has bench space for up to twelve students and three hoods for handling volatile or hazardous chemicals safely. Thermodynamics experiments include the measurement of the speed of sound in gases to determine the heat capacity ratio, measurement of the critical point of ethane using a critical point apparatus, determination of the enthalpy of vaporization of a liquid, and determination of the temperature dependence of the voltage of an electrochemical cell. Kinetics experiments include determination of the rate of a diffusion-controlled reaction by fluorescence spectroscopy, spectrophotometric determination of the rate of an organic coupling reaction, and the kinetic study of the enzymatic inversion of sucrose. Spectroscopy experiments are conducted using the fluorometer, spectrophotometers, IR spectrometer, etc., in the neighboring Instruments laboratory.
Located in Pfahler Hall are seven research laboratories for student-faculty research along with four student write-up areas.
Research Laboratories (Pfahler Hall 206, 304, 306, 307, 309, 310, 312)
There are seven research labs that are used exclusively for student-faculty research. Each lab is approximately 300 square feet and contains ample bench space, drawers, and shelving. The hoods in each lab have cold water outlets, house vacuum, air, natural gas, and specialty gas outlets that allow gases to be fed from a cylinder placed in the corner. Below the hoods are small cabinets for storage of flammable solvents, acids, and bases. There is also a small refrigerator in each lab, along with emergency eye washes and showers. A description of faculty research interests and student projects can be found on the research pages.
Student Write-Up Areas (Pfahler Hall 205C,305, 308, 311)
Students who conduct research in collaboration with chemistry faculty are provided with a desk in one of the four student write-up areas. Each of these rooms can accommodate eight students comfortably. The write-up areas are adjacent to the research labs and contain large windows so as to allow students clear views of the labs. Each room has a set of drawers and a LAN connection, along with ample shelving space. Students have 24/7 access to their assigned write-up area.
Research Laboratory Overlooking the Student Write-up Area
Student Write-up Area
Biochemistry Research Laboratory
Students working in the Biochemistry Research Laboratory
Biochemistry Research Laboratory
Instrumentation is located throughout the laboratories but is primarily concentrated in the general instrumentation laboratory (Pfahler 316). Almost all equipment is available for hands-on use by all of our students and faculty in research and traditional laboratory courses.