Research Equipment

MALDI-TOF

Bruker Microflex LRF

This equipment is the highest-performance benchtop MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry system on the market. The MALDI-TOF Bruker Microflex LRF is sensitive enough to analyze biomolecules (e.g., DNA, proteins, peptides, and sugars) and large organic molecules (e.g., polymers, dendrimers, and other macromolecules), which tend to be fragile and fragment when ionized by more conventional methods. The instrument’s capabilities include both a reflective mode, for enhanced isotopic resolution, and a linear mode. Current departmental projects employing this instrument include analysis of polymers, analysis of trypsin-digested proteins, verification of synthesized oligomeric DNA, and mass verification of organic-synthesis targets.

Contact: Andrew Galerneau


LC-MS

Thermo Finnigan LCQ Advantage Ion-Trap

The ion-trap LC mass spectrometer is used to separate and identify molecules and their structure. Generally used for large, nonvolatile compounds with boiling points greater than 300 degrees Celsius, this instrument separates mixtures using liquid chromatography and then identifies components using a mass spectrometer detector.

How It Works

Ions are formed from polar molecules using ESI (electron spray ionization). The detector fragments a molecule and then passes the charged fragment through a strong magnet. The distance the charged fragment travels is used to determine the molecular mass of each of the fragments of a molecule. Because fragmentation is dependent on stability, the molecular masses can be used to identify the structure. The ion-trap capability allows researchers to break large fragments into smaller fragments, aiding in the identification of the structure of large molecules.

Contact: Jerry Lutz


NMR

Varian 400MHz

The NMR wide-bore spectrometer is used to identify and determine the structure of molecules. The instrument has the capability to determine the environment and adjacent atoms of isotopes having odd numbers of nuclei: hydrogen, carbon 13, fluorine 19, and phosphorous 31. When spinning in the presence of a large magnet, the nuclei of these isotopes have different energies.  The use of this equipment requires a user fee of $9.32 per hour.  Users in need of training or other consultation services will be charged an additional amount based on the hourly salary of the Department of Chemistry employee providing the service.

Contact: Jerry Lutz


DNA/RNA Synthesizer

ABI 394, 8-Base/4-column

This instrument is used in the development of technologies for the synthesis of base-labile oligonucleotides (a molecule containing 2–20 nucleotides), non-chromatographic purification of synthetic oligonucleotides, and development of next-generation antisense drugs.

Contact: Shiyue Fang


GC-MS

Shimadzu GCMS-QP5050

The gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer instrument is designed to separate and identify molecules in compounds having boiling points less than 300 degrees Celsius. The GC-MS pattern of fragmentation is much more reproducible than that of an LC-MS; therefore, known molecules can be identified using the operating software, which uses a reference library. This instrument is capable of chemical ionization and can be used with a direct-insertion probe.

Contact: Jerry Lutz


FTIR

Perkin Elmer, Spectrum One

The FTIR spectrometer uses infrared radiation to vibrate the bonds between atoms found predominately in organic compounds. The frequency of these vibrations readily reveals the functional groups present in a molecule. Detailed structural information and identification can be obtained upon careful analysis of the infrared spectrum.

Contact: Andrew Galerneau


Fluorometer

Horiba Jobin Yvon FluoroMax-4

Fluorometers measure the emission of molecules that absorb ultraviolet–visible (UV-VIS) radiation and then emit it at a longer wavelength. The Perkin Elmer Fluoromax 4 has greater specificity and sensitivity than a UV-VIS spectrophotometer; therefore, it is very useful in the analysis of biological compounds.

Contact: Jerry Lutz


UV-VIS

Perkin Elmer Lamda 35

This spectrophotometer, capable of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, measures the absorbance of ultraviolet and visible light by molecules containing pi electrons. The instrument is currently being used in conjunction with a Peltier research-grade temperature controller to determine thermal properties of proteins.

Contact: Jerry Lutz


Fluorescence and Phosphorescence Lifetimes

PTI Fluorescence System

This system utilizes a nitrogen laser to pump a chemical dye Laser which promotes samples into an excited state; then, using precisely timed delays and a photon multiplier as a detector, measures the intensity of the emission from the sample as it fluoresces/phosphoresces. A plot of the intensity verses delay time is then analyzed to determine the lifetime(s) of the sample's emissions.

The dye laser emits a single excitation frequency that is limited by the dye installed, and due to the short times involved, a single absorbance frequency is chosen for the photon multiplier to monitor. For these reasons, it is necessary to get the excitation frequency from a UV-VIS spectrum and the sample’s emission frequency from a fluorescence/phosphorescence scan. The Department has a limited number of laser dyes, so it is important to check to see whether the sample's absorbance range falls within a frequency range at which the one of the available dyes will emit laser light.

Contact: Jerry Lutz