Skip to main content

Instrumentation

The Chemical and Trace Analysis Lab housed in the Department of Chemistry and Physics has a wide variety of scientific instrumentation available for our students and faculty.  Although many facilities and research groups may have thier own equipment, the 20+ pieces of instrumentation in the analysis lab are available to WCU affiliates with no time-of-use charges thanks to funds from the student technology fee. 

Through our partnership with the WCU Corporation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, students and faculty in the Chemistry and Forensic Science Programs can provide routine analysis and method development services to outside organizations.  The rates will vary depending on the size and scope of the work.  Please contact us for more details.

Interested in Forensic Science? Visit our Forensic Science Program's Facilities page to see some of their state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Personnel:

Our Capabilities

Although individual facilities and research groups may have their own equipment, the Department also maintains a core facility of more than 20 scientific instruments in the areas of Atomic Spectroscopy, Molecular Spectroscopy, Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, Electrochemistry, and Materials Characterization.  A selection of our equipment is highlighted below.

 Atomic Spectroscopy

Flame atomic absorption specroscopy (AA)

Perkin Elmer Atomic Absorption

 

The Perkin Elmer PinAAcle 900F flame AA is capable of identifying and quantifying cations (metals) in solution in the ppm to ppb range.  It can hold up to 8 hollow cathode lamps for rapid analysis.

AA Quicklinks:

Inductively-coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES)

Perkin Elmer ICP-OES

 

The Perkin Elmer Optima 4100DV ICP-OES system can determine trace elemental analysis (ppm to ppb) of around 60 elements.

ICP Quicklinks:

The ICP-OES was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)

Spectro Amatek XRF

 

The Spectro XEPOS XRF by AMTEK is able to determine elemental composition of solid samples, covering the entire range of elements between sodium and uranium.  The instrument includes a 12-position autosampler.

XRF Quicklinks:

Molecular Spectroscopy

Fluorescence and Phosphorescence

Perkin Elmer Fluorometer

 

The Perkin Elmer LS-55 fluorometer is used to measure steady-state fluorescence and phosphorescence spectra of powders, films and solutions. Temperature-dependant data collection is also possible with the thermostatted cell holder and liquid nitrogen sample dewar. The xenon pulse lamp source also allows for time-gated phosphorescence measurements. 

Fluorescence Quicklinks:

Fluorescence Microplate Reader

 

The SpectraMax iD5 multimode microplate reader is capable of conducting fluorescence, absorbance, luminescence, fluorescence polarization, and time-resolved fluorescence on standard microwell plates from 230 - 1000 nm.

 

The microplate reader was funded through a grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR)

Perkin Elmer FTIR

 

The department maintains several FT-IR instruments including a Smith's Detection FT-IR, a Perkin Elmer SpectrumTwo FT-IR, and a Perkin Elmer SpectrumOne FT-IR.  All of these are quipped with a diamond attenuated total reflectance cell (ATR), and the latter two can also be used for traditional transmission FT-IR.   The instrument pictured right is a Perkin Elmer SpectrumOne.

The deparment also maintains a Thermo/Nicolet iS10 FT-IR reserved for microscale FT-IR and gas-phase FT-IR (see below).

FT-IR Quicklinks:

Note that the Smith's Detection instrument and the SpectrumTwo are reserved for undergraduate and graduate organic chemistry labs.

Micro & Gas-Phase Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR)

Nicolet FTIR & Microscope

 

The Thermo/Nicolet iS10 FT-IR is capable of attenuated total reflection (diamond and germanium), transmittance, specular reflectance and diffuse reflectance measurements.  It is further equipped with a Centaurs infrared microscope for spatially-resolved infrared measurements and a PIKE heated, stainless steel, short-path gas cell for gas-phase infrared measurments.

The deparment also maintains several general-purpose FT-IRs (see above).

FT-IR Quicklinks:

Nuclear Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR)

JEOL 300 Mhz NMR

 

The department maintains a JEOL 300 MHz Eclipse NMR (shown right) with a 5-mm tunable probe for detecting nuclei such as 1H, 13C, 19F, and 31P.

We also have two Nanalysis NMReady 60e benchtop NMRs in our organic chemistry teaching lab.

NMR Quicklinks:

Raman spectroscopy

Horiba Raman Microscope

 

The Horiba LabRam HR allows users to perform both macro- and micro-Raman spectroscopy as well as remote Raman spectroscopy via a fiber coupling. With XY step sizes of 0.1µm and Z steps of 0.5µm, the confocal microscope system can collect Raman images with micron resolution. A collection of 4 lasers (including the argon ion laser seen below) provide excitation across the visible spectrum.

Raman Quicklinks:

The Raman spectrometer was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

UV-Visible-Near Infrared Spectroscopy (UV-vis)

Cary5000

 

The Agilent Cary 5000 UV-vis-NIR (pictured right) is a monochromated dual-beam UV-visible-NIR spectrometer that provides wavelength coverage from 173 - 3300 nm.  The department also houses an Agilent 8453 UV-visible diode array spectrometer and numerouse portable UV-vis instruments used in teaching labs.

UV-Vis Quicklinks:

Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry

gas chromatogrpahy - mass spectrometry (gc-ms)

Agilent GC-MS

 

Our Agilent 7890A Gas Chromatograph with 150 position autosampler is coupled to an Agilent 5975C Mass Spectrometer with both electron and chemical ionization. The system is also equipped a flame ionization detector that is inline with a second inlet and column. Lastly, the system includes a Agilent G1888 Headspace Analyzer.

GC-MS Quicklinks:

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC - Reverse Phase)

Agilent HPLC

 

The Agilent 1220LC features a dual channel gradient pump, 100 position autosampler, and variable wavelength detector. 

HPLC Quicklinks:

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC - Normal phase)

 HPLC Quicklinks:

 

The Ultimate 3000 was funded through a grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

high performance liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (lc-MS)

Thermo LC-MS

 

Our Thermo Finnigan LTQ linear ion trap mass spectrometer has both electrospray and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization capabilities as well as an internal collision cell for MS n experiments. Users may either directly inject their sample into the ionization chamber or first separate complex mixtures using the coupled Dionex Ultimate 3000 HPLC with tertiary gradient pump and 400 position autosampler.

LC-MS Quicklinks:

ion chromatography (ic)

Dionex Ion Chromatograph

 

The Dionex ICS-1600 Ion Chromatograph can be used to separate ions in a solution based on their charge. The ICS-1600 is setup to analyze anions.

IC Quicklinks:

Materials Characterization

Dynamic Light scattering / zeta potential (dls)

malvern

 

The department maintains a Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS This utilizes a 633 nm HeNe laser to measure the optical properties of suspensions.  This instrument can be used to measure Particle size, Molecular weight, and Zeta potential. 

UV-Vis Quicklinks:

The Zetasizer was funded through a grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

isothermal titration calorimeter (itc)

The department has a TA Instruments Nano ITC for the study of biomolecular binding.

Rheometry

Anton Paar Rheometer

 

The Anton Paar Physica MCR101 Rheometer can be used for shear-type rheometry in both rotational and oscillation modes. 

UV-Vis Quicklinks:

ThermoGravimetric and Differential Thermal Analysis (tg-dta)

Perkin Elmer TG-DTA

 

The Perkin Elmer Diamond TG-DTA can be used to perform both thermogravimetric analysis as well as record temperature differences between a sample and standard in a technique similar to differential scanning calorimetry. 

UV-Vis Quicklinks:

Electrochemistry

Gamry POTENTIOSTAT

 

The Gamry 1010E potentiostat allows for cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, thin-film deposition, trace metals quantification, and much more.  It is equipped with Dr. Bob's jacketed cell, an assortment of working, reference, and counter electrodes, and a spectroelectrochemical cell.

BASi voltammetric analyzer

BAS Electrochemical Station

 

The BASi CV-50W is a voltammetric analyzer equipped with an assortment of electrodes and a completely shielded experiment stage.

quartz crystal microbalance (qcm)

The Standford Research Systems QCM200 allows for measurement of deposited mass during electrochemical experiments.  It can also be used to determine the viscosity of liquids.

Additional Equipment

Argon ion laser

 

Spectra Physics argon ion laser

 

Our laser lab contains a a Spectra Physics 2065-7S argon ion laser as well as several research-grade diode lasers and an array of optics.

The argon ion laser was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

bomb calorimeter

The department has a Parr 1241 bomb calorimeter for measuring the heat of combustion of reactions.

centrifuges

 

Centrifuges

 

The department has two Beckman Coulter centrifuges and a Sorvall centrifuge, in addition to centrifuges maintained by individual research labs in Chemistry and Biology.

glove box

 

VAC glovebox

 

The VAC Inert Atmosphere Glovebox can be used to conduct chemistry under an inert atmosphere such as nitrogen or argon.

lyophilizers

The department has 2 Labconco lyophilizers for freeze drying of samples.

Microwave synthesizers

 

CEM

 

The department houses a CEM Discover SP microwave synthesizer and a CEM Mars microwave synthesizer for microwave heating of reactions.

MUFFLE FURNACE

The deparment has two Fisher Scientific Isotemp programmable muffle furnaces that can be used to heat samples up to 1125°C. 

   

Office of Web Services