Instrumentation & Facilities

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Saint Francis will provide you with access to a wide variety of instrumentation, the quality of which is one of the finest in the area. You will work one-on-one with faculty and other students to gain hands-on experience using modern instrumentation. You’ll be given the opportunity to start working with instruments right away. Then as you continue through the program, you will design projects for your classes and independent research to further your understanding and use of novel instrumentation.

Shimadzu Dual Beam Ultraviolet Visible Spectrophotometer (UV-VIS)

The UV-VIS spectrophotometer you will work with in analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, and physical chemistry.  In each course you will focus on different aspects of the instrument.  In analytical chemistry you develop techniques to use the instrument accurately and precisely. In instrumental analysis you learn about the inner workings of the instrument and explore spectrophotometers by dismantling and reassembling them in class.  In physical chemistry you will learn the skill of troubleshooting an experiment using this tool.

Shimadzu Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AA)

The Flame AA is commonly used in our environmental chemistry and instrumental analysis laboratories.  This instrument is used to determine the amount of a particular metal present in a substance through analyzing the amount of light absorbed by a material atomized in a high temperature flame.  In the environmental chemistry course this instrument is used to determine the amount of lead in paint chips students collected from houses in Ft. Wayne.

Perkin Elmer Fluorimeter

You will be introduced to the Perkin Elmer Fluorimeter in analytical chemistry as you develop the skill to create solutions precisely.  Then in instrumental analysis you will investigate how the instrument operates through analyzing each input variables influence on the resulting output of the instrument. Finally in physical chemistry this instrument will be used to test your skill at designing and implementing a laboratory procedure.

Varian Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS)

The GCMS is an extremely important instrument in any analytical or forensic chemistry laboratory.  You will work with this instrument in environmental chemistry and instrumental analysis.  We have used this instrument to detect ibuprofen levels in mussels, pesticides present in strawberries, and to search for evidence of new compounds generated in a chemical reaction that makes new carbon-carbon triple bonds.

Shimadzu High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) with Ultraviolet Visual Spectrophotometer Detector

The HPLC is featured in our biotechnology and instrumental analysis laboratories.  Commonly found in analytical and environmental labs, the HPLC is key for identifying materials that are water soluble or have a higher molecular weight.  We have used the HPLC to assist in identifying the presence of clothianidin on materials as we investigate potential pesticide connections to bee colony collapse.

Comparison Microscope

The comparison microscope is essential in forensic chemistry laboratories.  Often ballistics analyses are completed with this microscope as students attempt to identify whether there is enough evidence to connect the weapon to the crime scene.  This microscope is used in our topics in forensic chemistry where we have looked at ballistics and toolmark analysis along with microscopy.


Instruments Not Pictured-

In Organic Chemistry, you’ll have the chance to use the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, the attenuated reflectance infrared (ATR-IR) spectrometer (brand new!), and a 60 MHz Anasazi nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.

In addition to these instruments, you will also have access to  also houses a variety of instrumentation used in biochemistry and molecular biology. Some of these instruments include electrophoresis gels, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), scintillation counter, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and the confocal microscope.