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Research in Chemistry

Research is central to the mission of Drexel University’s Department of Chemistry. Students, faculty and staff all contribute to a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary research program. The research activities of the faculty include pioneering work in biochemistry, materials chemistry, theoretical chemistry, polymer chemistry and atmospheric chemistry. Our research is supported by corporations and public institutions such as the National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health.

The chemistry department strives to maintain a community of research scholars (faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students) that is large enough to provide a variety of experiences within chemistry, yet small enough to give each student individual attention. Both full-time and part-time plans of study are available.

Research Facilities

Glassblowing Shop

The Glassblowing Shop is a professionally staffed facility that serves the needs of the university community for repair, modification and custom design of scientific glass apparatus in Pyrex or quartz. The shop can also reproduce standard catalog glassware to your specifications. Drawings of your ideas are not necessary. Set up an appointment to explore the possibilities.


  • Cutting to shape and drilling of holes in glass or quartz plate, rod or tubing
  • Encapsulation of specimens in Pyrex or quartz under vacuum or back filled
  • Fabrication of tungsten-to-glass seals for electrical leads through glass
  • Molding of quartz or glass
  • Fabrication of glass or quartz glassware
  • Repair of apparatus
  • Glass or quartz consultation

The shop is staffed by Thomas Cachaza, a master glassblower with 40 years of experience in the manufacture of custom glassware. Please do not hesitate to call, e-mail or fax him with questions about your glassware needs.

Location: Disque Hall, Room 113

For questions please contact:

Thomas Cachaza
Phone: 215.895.2661
Fax: 215.222.4359

Mass Spectrometry Facility

The department maintains a professionally staffed mass spectrometry facility available to all members of the university community. Current operating instrumentation is listed below.

  • Bruker Autoflex III matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI TOFMS NSF CRIF-MU #0840273)
  • Thermo-Electron LTQ-FT 7T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) spectrometer with both atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) sources interfaced with a Thermo-Finnigan Surveyor high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system
  • Micromass AutoSpec M high-resolution magnetic sector MS with fast atom bombardment, desorption chemical ionization and electron impact capability
  • Sciex API3000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer also equipped with both ESI and APCI sources interfaced to a Perkin-Elmer series 200 HPLC system
  • Varian Saturn 2000 gas chromatograph/ion-trap mass spectrometer system with both electron impact and chemical ionization capability

Samples may be submitted for analysis or users may be trained in operation of the instruments for use in long-term projects.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

The professionally staffed NMR facility in the Department of Chemistry is equipped with 300MHz and 500MHz Varian Unity Inova NMR systems; both instruments have multi-nuclear capability. The probe on the 500 MHz instrument is a cryogenically cooled triple resonance model (1H {13C/15N}) suitable for protein analysis.

Instrumental Analytical Laboratory

The Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry is equipped with the usual array of open-access chemical analysis instrumentation, including:

  • Perkin-Elmer (PE) Spectrum One Fourier-transform infrared absorption spectrometers, each with a universal diamond ATR accessory
  • PE Lambda-35 UV/visible spectrometer
  • PE Lambda-950 UV/visible/NIR spectrometer equipped with a Labsphere, Inc., 60mm diameter diffuse-reflectance integrating sphere
  • PE model 343 polarimeter
  • PE LS55B Luminescence spectrometer
  • PE Clarus 500 capillary-column GC with dual FID detectors
  • Clarus 500 capillary-column GC/MS system with positive ion electron impact capability and a PE HS16 Turbomatrix Headspace Sampler
  • PE Series 200 Quaternary HPLC development system with a UV/visible photodiode array detector
  • PE series 200 binary HPLC system coupled to a Sciex AP2000 triple-quadrupole MS system
  • PE series 2000 binary Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) system with refractive index detector
  • HP 3D Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) system
  • Sciex API2000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer
  • Varian AA240FS flame atomic absorption spectrometer equipped with a GTA-120 graphite-furnace accessory
  • BioAnalytical Systems Epsilon Electrochemistry System equipped with a rotating disk electrode
  • Varian E-12 X-band CW Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer (with 77 K cryogenic capability)
  • UCT SEC Positive Pressure Manifold

Other Departmental Facilities

The chemistry department maintains a small desktop molecular modeling facility running Hypercube’s Hyperchem and the Schrodinger Suite (Maestro, Bioluminate, etc.). Full-time technical support includes two departmental electronic instrumentation specialists, a laboratory manager and two laboratory technicians.

A university-wide machine shop and college-based electronics shop are also available.