Chemistry Instrumentation


Gas Chromatograph

Shimadzu Model GC-2014 Gas Chromatograph

Gas chromatography is used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized.  The compound to be tested is injected into the instrument and is carried through a column by an inert gas which separates the components. The GC is used for purposes such as measuring the content of a chemical product, quality control in industrial processes, and alcohol enforcement by law enforcement personnel.











UV Visible Spectrophotometer

Shimadzu Model UV-1800 Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer

This instrument is a form of absorption spectroscopy using light in the ultraviolet and visible spectral regions.   UV-Vis spectroscopy is used for the quantitative determination of different chemicals such as metals, organic compounds, and biological molecules.   It is often used in the determination of the concentration of pollutants in water.


Infrared Spectrophotometer

Shimadzu IR Prestige-21 Fourier- Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer

FTIR is an instrumental technique used to acquire an infrared spectrum of a chemical.   The chemical is exposed to different infrared wavelengths of light and the absorption of that light is measured.  Applications of FTIR include the analysis of paint samples, drug samples, and organic chemicals.




Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer

Shimadzu Model AA-7000 Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer

This instrument measures the concentration of metals by using the absorption of light by free atoms in the gaseous state.  The most common type of atomizers used are flames and electrothermal or graphite tube types.  The instrument can measure 70 different elements and is used for studies in toxicology, pharmacology, environmental science, and industry. 

Liquid Chromatograph

Shimadzu Model LC-20AT Liquid Chromatograph

The main use of liquid chromatographs is to separate complex chemical mixtures into individual chemicals.   It can be used for preparation or for analytical reasons.   A liquid mobile phase is used to carry the mixture through a stationary phase in a column.  Because different chemicals travel through the system at different speeds due to their differing affinities to the column, the mixture separates into its different components.  This instrument is widely used in research studies in chemistry, biology, and biochemistry.






Mass Spectrophotometer


Shimadzu Model QP2010SE Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrophotometer

The GC-MS is our most expensive instrument.  It combines the work of gas-liquid chromatography separation with mass spectrometry detection in order to identify different chemicals within a sample.   This instrument is the main choice for the forensic chemist in that it can easily identify unknown substances found at crime scenes.   It is also very powerful in that it can identify very small amounts of substance.  GC-MS is used in drug detection in athletes, food and beverage analysis, fire investigations, environmental analysis, explosives investigations, and trace identification.

Capillary Electrophoresis

Beckman Coulter Model P/ACE MDQ Capillary Electrophoresis System

Samples are placed into vials with the chemicals moving through a capillary system.  Movement of the chemical is accomplished by an electric field.  This separates chemicals by their charge, frictional forces, and their hydrodynamic radius.   Applications of CE include DNA fingerprinting, drug analysis, and protein characterization.