Facilities

EaStCHEM has high quality facilities across the breadth of Chemistry with ready access for all researchers. The provision of an excellent equipment base and service infrastructure underpins all of the research within EaStCHEM and our core strategy is to ensure the complementarity and synergy between the EaStCHEM partners.
Each partner has a suite of analytical equipment that can be regarded as essential infrastructure for every top-class Chemistry Research School and dedicated scientific support. These are coupled with specialised units where cutting-edge characterisation work is led by appropriate world-leading scientists.  We are also work with developers of national facilities. In the UK (Diamond, RAL, etc) and the rest of Europe (ESRF, ILL, etc), in the USA (ALS, APS, Oak Ridge, NIST etc) and further afield (e.g. ANSTO, Spring-8) EaStCHEM staff have collaborated on instrument development and taken on advisory board and facility directorship roles.
Our infrastructure also attracts significant use from external industry. Enquiries are welcomed at any time, and can be discussed with our business development executives (see staff contacts page), or directly with the facilities managers named in the detailed descriptions below.

Research Computing Facility

Research Computing Facility

The EaStCHEM Research Computing Facility provides state-of-the-art hardware and software to enable EaStCHEM researchers to apply computational chemistry techniques to their research. The Facility assists both established theorists and experimental research groups from all of the chemistry disciplines to perform and interpret their research.
A wide range of computational chemistry software packages are available that encompass both quantum mechanical and classical simulation methods. Training and support is provided for all research active staff and students. Software is available to:

  • Elucidate molecular structure and locate minima and maxima on potential energy surfaces.
  • Calculate, from first principles, spectroscopic properties e.g. IR, Raman, EPR and UV/Vis spectra.
  • Predict thermodynamic properties such as ligand binding energies and redox potentials.
  • Model periodic systems, matter in the condensed phase and biopolymers (e.g. proteins).

EPR Spectrometers

EPR Spectrometers

Based at Edinburgh
CW or pulsed X-band spectroscopy available

  • EMX X-band spectrometer EPR spectrometer
  • Elexsys E580 X-band FT spectrometer
  • variable temperature with liquid nitrogen control
  • ESR 900 liquid helium cryostat

Based at St Andrews

  • CW X-band EPR spectrometer from the Bruker, 3.8K - 350K. In Physics
  • CW 94/188/280 GHz home-built EPR spectrometer, 3.8K - 350K
  • pulsed/CW X/Q-band Bruker EPR spectrometer with PELDOR/ENDOR extension, 3.8K - 350K
  • pulsed/CW home-built small dead-time W-band EPR spectrometer with PELDOR/ENDOR extension, 3.8K - 350K

UV-Vis-NIR, FTIR, Raman

UV-Vis-NIR, FTIR, Raman

Based at Edinburgh

  • Micro Raman spectrometer (5 wavelengths 484 – 785 nm) combined with Fourier Transform middle Infra Red spectrometer and possibility of in situ AFM (Nanonics), temperature and gas environment control.
  • Raman In Via microscope with 514nm, 633nm and 785nm lasers.
  • J-Y LabRam machine

Based at St Andrews

  • Jobin-Yvon Labram and T64000 Raman spectrometers equipped with He-Ne (633nm), He-Cd (442nm) and Ar-ion (488/514nm) lasers.

Solid-State NMR

Solid-State NMR

A service is available on a 400MHz HFXY Bruker Avance III spectrometer. This spectrometer has four radio frequency channels and two dual channel probes (7mm and 4mm) for routine work with MAS up to 18 kHz and HFXY capabilities.

High-resolution NMR Spectrometers

High-resolution NMR Spectrometers

Liquid State Spectrometers Based at Edinburgh

Bruker Avance III NMR Spectrometers:

  • 800 MHz 4 channel instrument with a 5 mm TCI CryoProbe™ optimised for 1H/13C/15N
  • 600 MHz 4 channel instrument HD with a 5 mm TCI CryoProbe™ optimised for 1H/13C/15N
  • 500 MHz 2 channel instrument with a 5 mm DCH CryoProbe™ optimised for 13C/1H
  • 500 MHz 2 channel HD instrument with a 5 mm BBO CryoProbe™ Prodigy covering 15N - 31P, 1H & 19F
  • 400 MHz 2 channel instrument with a 5 mm BBFO+ broad band probe covering 15N - 31P, 1H & 19F

Our spectrometers are equipped with a range of probes, including triple-resonance, single and triple-axis gradient probes, variable temperature, and inverse- and direct-detection 5 mm probes. We also have a 600 MHz HR-MAS probe for the analysis of samples on solid supports.

For more information please contact Dr Juraj Bella.

Bruker Avance NMR instruments at the School of Chemistry in St Andrews.

A solid-state NMR service is available in St Andrews with access to 400 MHz HFXY and 600 MHz Bruker Avance III spectrometers. A wide range of double- and triple-resonance experiments have already been implemented and, in addition to routine experiments, fast MAS (up to 40 kHz on the 400 MHz machine and 60 kHz on the 600 MHz machine) and variable-temperature experiments are also possible.

For more information please contact Dr Daniel Dawson.

Mass spectrometers

Mass spectrometers

The School of Chemistry is equipped with a suite of MS instruments for a range of analyses. These include -

  • Small molecule nominal and accurate mass measurement.
  • Complex mixture mass analysis (by FT-ICR MS)
  • MALDI MS-imaging
  • Metal analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Biomolecular mass spectrometry analysis
    • intact protein mass analysis
    • peptide mass fingerprinting
    • top-down fragmentation
    • native mass spectrometry

Specific Instruments Available

  • 12T Bruker SolariX.  Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) . Several techniques are available for these instruments: principally electrospray or nanoelectrospray ionisation (ESI) via an automated Advion Nanomate as well as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI) imaging. Equipped with Dionex HPLC. APPI is also available.
  • Bruker Ultraflex MALDI TOF TOF: a MALDI Time-of-Flight system for peptide, protein analysis. Also suited for MALDI imaging.
  • Bruker HCT  high capacity ion trap with ESI and nESI interface. Equipped with nano HPLC.
  • Bruker ESI Micro-Tof equipped with LC for automated small molecule mass analysis
  • Waters Synapt G2. A Mobility capable Q-ToF with nanoESI and ESI and an LC interface.
  • Waters Q-TOF  with an extended mass range quadrupole, equipped with nanoESI and ESI and an LC interface.
  • ThermoElectron MAT 900 Sector instrument A number of ionisation techniques are available, including Electron Impact (EI), Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB) and electrospray ionisation (ESI). GC and LC MS analysis is also possible for accurate mass analysis.
  • Two LCQ Thermo Finnegan instruments with LC ESI.
  • A GC-MS platform. Instruments are available for open access use following training.
  • ICP-OES for trace analysis of metal elements (0.0002-1000ppm) and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). Perkin Elmer Optima 5300 DV ICP-OES.
  • ICP-MS for isotope ratio studies and ultra trace analysis of metal elements (0.0005-100ppb), and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). Agilent 7500ce ICP-MS.
  • LC-ICP-MS is suitable for speciated metal analysis and compounds with metals bound that are separable by LC techniques. Agilent 1200 series HPLC with MS hook-up.

Single Crystal X-ray diffractometers

Single Crystal X-ray diffractometers

Complementing the Walker Press and other high-pressure materials synthesis capabilities are high-pressure-enabled and high-intensity X-ray crystallography.  Rotating anode and X-ray microsource technology provide intense radiation suitable for examining very small crystals. 
Sample temperatures as low as 20 K are easily achieved and diffractometers with robotic sample changers have been developed in EaStCHEM for high throughput work.  Facilities for in-situ crystal growth are also available, allowing diffraction experiments on low melting point samples. 
Powder X-ray diffraction equipment has been completely renewed during REF2014, with a suite of four new PANalytical instruments complemented with two Bruker instruments.

 

Optical Facilities

Optical Facilities
  1. Confocal, Spectral Imaging and Photophysics Laboratories: Diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers coupled with ultrafast mode-locked Ti:Sapphire lasers for femtosecond and picosecond applications. Tuning across the ultraviolet to near infrared range by second and third harmonic generation and Optical Parametric Oscillator units. Several upright and inverted microscopes:
    • Confocal imaging.
    • Multi-photon imaging.
    • Fast confocal imaging and simultaneous rheology.
    • Single molecule imaging.
    • Fluoresence lifetime spectroscopy and microscopies (FLIM).
    • Fluoresence resonance energy transfer imaging (FRET).
    • Time-resolved spectroscopy.
  2. Instrument Development Laboratories: Several open-plan microscopes providing convenient optical access specifically for short-lead time testing of ideas and pre-commercial systems:
    • novel laser tweezer systems.
    • fluorescence correlation microscopy.
    • optical spectroscopy under extreme conditions.
    • optical microscopy under shear.
  3. Tweezers: Several different optical tweezers systems including.
    • user-friendly 'turn-key' system on a commercial microscope.
    • research and development systems on open-bench microscopes.
  4. Modelling and Visualisation Facility (MVF): A dedicated computational infrastructure for COSMIC (dual-processor graphics workstations (Dell) and a 16-node parallel supercomputer) to study complex molecular systems at an atomistic, nano- and meso-scale level, to support coordinated research in key technical focus areas.
  5. Based at Edinburgh: amplified 100 fs Ti:Saph laser (3mJ) with SHBC and tunable fs and ps NOPAs

Thermal Analysis and Porosimetry

Thermal Analysis and Porosimetry
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry - Netzsch DSC 204 Instrument: Range -150 to 400C; high sensitivity.
  • Perkin-Elmer DSC7: -110 to 440C
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis - Netzsch STA 449C with Mass Spec: TGA/DSC or TGA/DTA under oxidising or reducing atmosphere to 1600C, coupled to a Pfeiffer mass spectrometer (200amu) for evolved gas analysis.
  • TA Instruments SDT 2960: TGA/DTA under oxidising atmosphere to 1250C.
  • Rheometrics TG 1000M: TGA under oxidising or reducing atmosphere, water cooled furnace allows rapid heating/cooling, can be run under wet atmosphere.
  • Thermal Expansion - Netzsch Dilatometer DIL402C: Oxidising or reducing atmosphere to 1550C.
  • Porosimetry - Hiden IGA porosimeter: Gas and vapour adsorption, BET analysis.

Surface Science

Surface Science

Based at St Andrews

  • UHV X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
  • STM Omicron UHV Scanning Tunnelling Microscope. Four Molecular Imaging STM instruments, all of which work in ambient and electrochemical environments and are also capable of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • UHV Nicolet FTIR with polarisation modulation (PM) and ATR attachment. An additional Digilab PM-FTIR system with facilities for sample analysis at the liquid-solid interface/electrochemical environments
  • SFG/SHG Laser system for Sum Frequency Generation/Second Harmonic Generation
  • HREELS Two UHV High Resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy systems
  • UHV LEED/AES/TPD/high pressure cell + Gas chromatograph
  • Tensiometer for contact angle measurements

Based at Edinburgh

  • AFM Veeco Nanoman VS with Dimension 3100 controller

Magnetometry

Magnetometry
  • SQUID magnetometer (1.8-800 K, 0-7 Tesla Physical Properties Measurement Systems (QD MPMS-XL) with electro-transport, DC and AC susceptibility measurements, vibrating sample magnetometer, heat capacity, He3 low-temperature options and other low-temperature transport measurement equipment. The laboratory also has
  • PPMS Magnetic Property Measurement System (QD PPMS-7) based on 9 Tesla cryomagnet and a Closed Cycle Refrigerator system, T=0.35-400K capable of variety of measurements, e.g. electrical resistivity, heat capacity, ac susceptibility, Hall effect.
  • custom-built high-pressure cells of piston-cylinder and opposed anvil type for both of these instruments with the pressure limit of approximately 40 GPa.

 

Metal analysis and detection

Metal analysis and detection
  • ICP-OES for trace analysis of metal elements (0.0002-1000ppm) and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). Perkin Elmer Optima 5300 DV ICP-OES.
  • ICP-MS for isotope ratio studies and ultra trace analysis of metal elements (0.0005-100ppb), and a limited number of non-metallic elements (e.g. S, P). Agilent 7500ce ICP-MS.
  • LC-ICP-MS is suitable for speciated metal analysis and compounds with metals bound that are separable by LC techniques. Agilent 1200 series HPLC with MS hook-up.

 

DNA Synthesis

DNA Synthesis
  • Synthesis of modified and labeled oligonucleotides for research, diagnosis and other applications.
  • Advice on oligonucleotide sequence, modification and experimental design.
  • Two-step trityl-ON/trityl-OFF HPLC purification of DNA oligonucleotides, offering much higher purity than typically offered by commercial DNA synthesis services.
  • Option for gel purification using super-long gel purification rigs.
  • Characterisation of oligonucleotides: UV/vis absorption spectrum, HPLC traces, DNA amount. High-resolution mass-spectra on request via SIRCAMS facilities in Edinburgh (1 amu accuracy).

High Pressure Facilities

High Pressure Facilities

In the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions:

  • high pressure single crystal X-ray diffraction (up to 10 GPa (ca 100,000 times atmospheric).
  • Diamond anvil cells containment for high pressure, single crystal work for Xray and neutron studies.
  • CuBe contained, variable, high pressure SQUID measurements (to 10 Gbar).

Biophysical Characterisation Facility

Biophysical Characterisation Facility

A service providing 11 networked ÅKTA liquid chromatography units, of various configurations and levels of automation, an extensive core column and chromatography resin library, HT robotic cloning and screening facilities, growth/incubation areas, a tissue culture suite and a set of core wet labs with access to automated cell lysis, centrifugation, and analysis instrumentation.

Protein Purification Facility

Protein Purification Facility

A service providing 11 networked ÅKTA liquid chromatography units, of various configurations and levels of automation, an extensive core column and chromatography resin library, HT robotic cloning and screening facilities, growth/incubation areas, a tissue culture suite and a set of core wet labs with access to automated cell lysis, centrifugation, and analysis instrumentation.

Molecular Biology Service

Molecular Biology Service

This service offers two complementary technologies: large scale fermentation and general molecular biology cloning. The overall supervisor is David Dryden (50 4735).

  • Fermentation comprises three BIOFLO4500 fermenters in which we may grow recombinant and non-recombinant micro organisms to a 10 litre scale plus two smaller fermenters. We have expertise in growing E. coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pichia pastoris although the growth of any category 1 (medically harmless) micro organism with simple growth requirements is possible. Cell harvesting is part of the service with our large volume centrifuge, with the end product provided either as cell pellet or supernatant.
  • General molecular biology services include construction of overexpression plasmids, gel electrophoresis, DNA preparation, PCR and long term storage in -80oC freezers. Advice on procedures can also be given.

Syntheses of inorganic and organometallic complexes

Syntheses of inorganic and organometallic complexes

Syntheses of inorganic and organometallic complexes

  • Individual, dedicated wide (1.5m) fume-hoods with high-vacuum Schlenk equipment (sub 1 ppm O2/H2O).
  • Full capabilities for organic synthesis at up to 0.5 kg scales.
  • Wide range of glassware for manipulation of complexes and for variable temperature reactions. Capabilities for sample sealing under variety of gases or low pressures.
  • Solvent drying towers for synthetic chemistry.
  • Glove-boxes for sample preparation and manipulation in inert atmosphere (scrubbed, high-purity N2 atmosphere, sub 1 ppm O2/H2O).
  • High vacuum sublimation line (10-6 mbar, 400 C).
  • High vacuum, greaseless gas transfer reaction line, and equipment for a variety of gas reactions at different temperatures and pressures.
  • Box furnaces to 1000 C.
  • Microwave reactors in various configurations, including CEM Discover microwave reactor.
  • Cells and ovens for high pressure and hydrothermal synthesis.