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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 federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and many private foundations.

The Department of Chemistry has a variety of instruments that are available for use on a fee basis. Researchers interested in using instrumentation pay a training fee before using the services on a time basis, or in some cases can opt for a pay-per-sample arrangement.

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.

Chemistry Research Labs & Facilities


Mass Spectrometry Facility

The chemistry 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 (NMR)

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.

Visit the NMR Facility website


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:

Mass Spectrometry

  • 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) source interfaced with a Thermo-Finnigan Surveyor high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system
  • Micromass AutoSpec M high-resolution magnetic sector Mass Spectrometer with fast atom bombardment, desorption chemical ionization and electron impact capability
  • Varian Saturn 2000 gas chromatograph/ion-trap mass spectrometer system with both electron impact and chemical ionization capability
  • Shimadzu 2030 Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) capable of Liquid, Headspace, and Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME)
  • Shimadzu 8050 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS) with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI), electrospray ionization (ESI), and Dual Ionization (DUIS) sources interfaced to a Shimadzu Prominence high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system with additional Diode Array Detector (DAD).
  • Shimadzu 8020 Benchtop Linear matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF)
  • PerkinElmer Clarus 500 Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

Chromatography (Liquid and Gas)

  • Shimadzu 2030 Gas Chromatography with both Flame Ionization (FID) and Barrier Discharge Ionization (BID) detectors
  • PerkinElmer Clarus 500 GC with both Flame Ionization (FID) and thermal conductivity (TCD) detectors
  • Shimadzu iSeries high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system with diode array (DAD) and refractive index (RI) detectors
  • Shimadzu Nexera ultra high-performance liquid chromatography system (UHPLC) with diode array (DAD), and evaporative light scattering (ELSD) detectors. This system is additionally interfaced to a Shimadzu Fraction Collector.
  • SciEX PAC/E MDQ Plus Capillary Electrophoresis with single wavelength UV/Vis, and Diode Array detectors (DAD)

Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer

  • 500MHz Varian Unity Inova NMR with multi-nuclear capability, a cryogenically cooled triple resonance model (1H {13C/15N}) probe suitable for protein analysis.
  • 400 MHz Varian Mercury (2 RF channels) with double resonance auto-switchable broadband probe (1H/19F/13C/31P, 1H/19F{15N-31P})
  • 90MHz Anasazi Eft-90 MHz NMR
  • Varian E-12 X-band CW Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer (with 77 K cryogenic capability)

Absorbance Spectroscopy

  • Thermo NanoDrop One UV/Vis Spectrometer
  • Shimadzu UV1900 UV/Vis Spectrometer with temp. control
  • Shimadzu UV2600 UV/Vis Spectrometer with temp. control
  • Shimadzu UV3600Plus NIR/UV/Vis Spectrometer with temp. control and can additionally be interfaced with a 150mm integrating sphere
  • Jasco J-1500 Spectropolarimeter (Circular Dichroism) with Temp. control
  • Shimadzu AA-2000 atomic absorption spectrometer capable of Flame, Graphite Furnace, or Hydride Vapor Generator

Infra-Red Spectroscopy

  • Shimadzu Tracer-100 FTIR spectrometer can be interfaced with Transmission, ATR, HATR, or Diffuse/Specular Reflectance accessories
  • Shimadzu Tracer-100 interfaced with the AIM-9000 IR Microscope capable of measurements in the Near, Mid and Far IR region of the spectrum
  • PerkinElmer Spectrum One FTIR can be interfaced with ATR, Transmission, or Diffuse/Specular Reflectance accessories
  • PerkinElmer Spectrum 2 FTIR can be interfaced with ATR, Transmission accessories

Fluorescence Spectroscopy

  • Shimadzu RF-6000 Fluorescence Spectrometer can be interfaced with sample temp. controller
  • ISS Chronos DFD Digital Frequency and Time Domain Spectrometer capable of SteadyState and picosecond Lifetime measurements, can also be interfaced with sample temp. controller
  • PerkinElmer LS-55 Luminescence Spectrometer
  • Kin-Tek SF-2004 Stopped Flow Fluorescence Spectrometer, also interfaced with diode array absorbance detector
  • Promega Qubit 4 Fluorimeter (470nm and 635nm LED excitation sources – for biological and protein applications)

Raman Spectroscopy

  • Renishaw RM-2000 Vis Raman Spectrometer
  • Renishaw RM-2000 UV Raman Spectrometer (Currently NOT operational)

Microscopy

  • Veeco diNanoScope 3D Multimode Atomic Force Microscope
  • Leica Inverted Fluorescence Microscope
  • Zeiss Epi-Fluorescence Microscope
  • Camaag TLC Plate Imager

Physical Measurements

  • Shimadzu SALD 7500Nano Particle Size Analyzer equipped with a wet measurement, small volume and high concentration accessories
  • Shimadzu TGA-50 Thermogravimetric analysis
  • Brookfield DV-II+ Viscometer and Rheometer can be equipped with spindle, or cone/plate attachments
  • Horiba LB-550 Dynamic Light Scattering

Electrochemistry

  • BASi Epsilon Eclipse (Potentiostat | Galvanostat | Biopotentiostat) with Rotating Disk Electrode and C-3 cell stand accessories
  • BASi PalmSens4 portable (Potentiostat | Galvanostat | Impedence Analyzer)

Synthesis

  • CEM MARS6 Microwave Digestion System
  • UCT Positive Pressure Manifold for Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)
  • BioTage TurboVap LP Evaporator

Electronics Tools

  • National Instruments ELVIS III with Complete Labview system
  • Quanser Analog Electronics Lab interface Board for the ELVIS system
  • Keysight InfiniiVision X-series Oscilloscope 4 channel 100MHz, with 20MHz arbitrary waveform generator, and 3-digit multimeter

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.

Areas of Chemistry Research

Faculty in the Department of Chemistry conduct leading-edge research in a variety of subfields, including atmospheric, organic, materials, physical, theoretical and computational chemistry.

Learn More About the Areas of Research