Research Facilities

Wright-Rieman Chemistry Laboratories

The Department of Chemistry is located in the Wright-Rieman Chemistry Laboratories on the Busch Campus. This modern, fully-equipped complex of buildings contains the departmental offices and stockrooms, faculty and staff offices, classroom and seminar rooms, a 200-seat auditorium, and advanced undergraduate teaching labs, as well as chemistry research laboratories and facilities. The research facilities include extensive shop facilities, a comprehensive chemistry library, outstanding computer facilities, and state-of-the-art research instrumentation. Support for these facilities is provided by a high-level support staff, including Ph.D. chemists in the positions of Director of NMR Spectroscopy, Director of Computational Chemistry, and Director of X-Ray Facilities.

Research Instrumentation

Major research instruments of particular note are listed. Most of this equipment is located in Wright-Rieman Laboratories, although some instruments belonging to chemistry faculty with joint appointments are located in the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, and the Serin Physics Laboratory.

Lasers and spectrophotometers

Supersonic jet and molecular beam apparatuses; nanosecond laser flash photolysis system; diode-array stop-flow spectrophotometer; temperature-programmable ORD-CD spectropolarimeters; temperature-controlled fluorescence spectrophotometer; low-temperature FTIR spectrophotometers; high resolution UV/Visible and Raman spectrophotometers; YAG, excimer, and tunable dye lasers. Magnetic resonance instrumentation includes 300, 400, 500, two 600, 700, 800 MHz multinuclear NMRs with 2-D and 3-D capabilities; ESR spectrometers.

Surface analysis equipment

Ultrahigh vacuum surface analysis systems with facilities for Auger, photoelectron (XPS & UPS), and electron energy loss (HREELS) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, low energy electron diffraction (LEED), electron stimulated desorption ion angular distribution (ESDIAD) measurements, low energy ion scattering, and He atom scattering; scanning tunneling microscopes; atomic force microscopes.

Thermochemical instrumentation

Stopped-flow isothermal mixing calorimeter; hypersensitive isothermal titration calorimeter; pressure-variable differential scanning calorimeter; batch, titration, and differential scanning calorimeters.

Other major equipment

SQUID magnetometer; GC/quadrupole mass spectrometers; inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometer; automated DNA and peptide synthesizers; high-performance liquid chromatographs; HPLC/quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer with ESI ion source; atomic force microscope.

Computer Facilities

The computer and molecular graphics facilities used by the students and faculty of the Chemistry program provide the necessary resources for the several computationally intensive research programs. The Chemistry Department's computer facilities consist of a diverse mix of hardware, with the principal cluster consisting of about 1400 cores (175 nodes) of 2.2 and 2.8 GHz AMD x86-64 dual-quad processors. Associated network hardware facilitates connectivity for the entire Chemistry building, providing access to these resources as well as the rest of the internet.

Faculty and Students in the Chemistry Department participate in the Rutgers High Performance Computing Project which provides local support for the use of massively parallel computers at National Supercomputer Centers.

Departmental Shops

The Department of Chemistry has a fully equipped in-house glassblowing shop where we create and repair laboratory glassware including bubblers, columns, cuvettes, glass-tubing, outlet spouts, sublimators, traps, etc. Services include, but are not limited to: glass-cutting/elongation, creation and repair of connections, glass bending, repair of broken pieces/chipped items, and replacement of adaptors/vials.

We also have an electronics shop, and the combined Chemistry-Physics Machine Shop is located in the adjacent Serin Physics Laboratory. For those who wish to do some of their own instrument fabrication, a self-service machine shop is available.

X-ray Diffraction Facilities

In the departmental x-ray lab, we have the following instrumentation:

  • Smart APEX CCD single-crystal diffraction system (Bruker-AXS), with Mo or Cu sealed-tube target available and monocap optics. Data collection times are 2-16 hr. Temperatures used are 100 – 400K.
  • One CAD4 diffractometer using sealed x-ray tube, Mo or Cu target, with temperatures of 120 – 400K available.
  • HiStar multiwire area detector (Bruker-AXS) on a 3-kW Nonius FR571 rotating anode x-ray generator with graphite monochromatized fine focus Cu radiation, and a low-temperature environment from an FTS refrigerated air system (-25 to +25C) or an Oxford Cryosystems liquid nitrogen system (-170 to +25C). Polycrystalline, protein or other polymer samples are analyzed for 0.5 < 2Theta < 115 deg. Weissenberg, back-reflection Laue or precession cameras are available on the second port of this generator, although these are used primarily for teaching purposes.
  • Rigaku GeigerFlex powder diffractometer with mirror optics and sealed Cu target x-ray tube for smaller angle polycrystalline x-ray analyses at room temperature.
  • Philips XPert powder diffractometer with 15 sample magazine, sealed Cu target x-ray tube and proportional counter detector for routine XRD analyses of samples of 2 – 200 milligrams.
  • An instructional (macromolecular) crystallization lab and complete computational facilities are incorporated into the x-ray lab.

Results include:

  • The solid-state molecular structure (conformation, bond distances & angles) with high precision (e.g., 0.005 for pure hydrocarbons, or 0.0005 for metal coordination geometry of organometallic compounds). Also, details of intermolecular contacts, including hydrogen bonding, salt bridges and host-guest interaction; for molecular modeling studies, a minimum free energy structure that is a useful starting point for mechanics and dynamics calculations;
  • The absolute structure of resolved chiral compounds – x-ray structure determination is the one unequivocal technique for determining absolute conformation;
  • The identity of compositional impurities of crystalline material can be quantified to within 1% (non-H atoms);
  • Analysis of thin films or polycrystalline samples as thin as ~10 nm is also possible (results include degree of crystallinity, texture analysis or phase identification, and rocking curves).
  • XRD analysis for phase identification of polycrystalline (powder) material; Rietveld refinement is used for quantitative analyses of known phases, but is possible for only highly crystalline materials

In the solid State Chemistry Laboratory, x-ray diffraction data of polycrystalline (powder) samples are collected with a new Bruker-AXS D8 Advance powder diffractometer or a Scintag PAD5 diffractometer, the latter equipped with a variable temperature sample stage, 10 to 1250 K and a scintillation detector. Access to the JCPDS database aids in qualitative analysis (e.g., phase determination), while Rietveld refinement is used for quantitative analyses of known phases.

Departmental Library

The Chemistry Department's in-house library has a collection of over 8,000 monographs and subscriptions to more than 200 periodicals. In addition, the outstanding facilities, services, and collection of the Library of Science and Medicine are only a short walk from the chemistry building. The Physics and Mathematical Sciences Libraries are also located nearby.