Facilities and Instrumentation

We invite you to take advantage of our excellent industry-current facility, offering a safe, friendly, and collaborative environment for students and faculty.

Brousseau Hall is a top-notch science facility housing the Biology and Chemistry Departments.  The Chemistry Department includes research labs and 4 large teaching labs, all of which are designed for maximum safety and enhanced student experience. Lab enrollments are capped at 16, and each lab has individual student work areas and plenty of fume hood space.

Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources

The Saint Mary’s College Chemistry Department is housed in Brousseau Hall, which was constructed and opened in 2000.  The laboratories have numerous fume hoods with appropriate facilities (inert gas connections, in house vacuum, two walk-in hoods for preparatory chromatography, etc.) to safely prepare various organic and inorganic compounds and derivatives for chemical analyses.  The laboratory has typical synthetic equipment (e.g. vacuum pumps, rotary evaporators, melting point apparatus, etc.).

For chemical analysis, the Department has a robust collection of instrumentation.  For chemical product characterization, there are two FT-IRs, a Bruker multi-nuclear high field NMR (1H at 400 MHz), two Agilent 8453 UV-Vis diode array spectrometers, and a Perkin-Elmer LS50B scanning fluorimeter.

For analytical separations, the Department has GC/MS with ion trap detector, another GC/FID instrument, one 1100 series Agilent HPLC instrument where one instrument has a diode array and fluorescence detectors in series plus 1260 series Agilent HPLC with a PDA. Both HPLCs has autosamplers.

For analytical and bioanalytical chemical analyses, there are additional instruments such as a Bio-Rad Benchmark UV-Vis plate reader and BioTek Synergy MX fluorescence plate reader which utilize standard 96 well plates for analysis.  For various electrochemical experiments, the Department has four Pine instrumentation potentiostats and various electrodes.  The Department also owns a  Microtox Luminescence instrument and a Thermo Niton field portable XRF elemental analyzer.  A stopped-flow fluorescence instrument facilitates the study of faster chemical kinetics.  A nano drop spectrometer makes spectral experiments on small volume biological/biochemical samples easily accomplished.

With respect to thermal measurements, the Department owns two Parr bomb calorimeters and a Malvern isothermal titration calorimeter.

Various instrumentation with selected features are pictured below.

The high field NMR is a Bruker instrument.  It has an autosampler which helps in recording routine spectral data for the Organic Chemistry lab and recording numerous experiments on research samples.

NMR cyromagnet.











The instrument has an autosampler which minimizes the chance of a sample tube broken in the instrument.

Bruker Autosampler


The cryogenic magnet system with autosampler shown with a up close view.

Agilent 8453 diode array has 1 nm spectral resolution and with added thermostatted cell, can collect chemical kinetics data.



Agilent 8453 instruments are routinely utilized for student laboratories and research work.

PE LS50B spectrometer


Perkin-Elmer LS-50B fluorescence instrument functions as a reliable research grade scanning fluorimeter.





Stopped Flow Fluorescence instrument manufactured by Applied Photophysics.

Stopped flow Fluorescence instrument










  This instrument can be used for fluorescence quenching experiments and other fast kinetics studies.

Plate readers (both absorbance and fluorescence)

Bio-Rad UV-Vis plate reader







Bio-Rad Benchmark has a Peltier thermal control and records both endpoint and kinetics assays (with various plate configurations including 96 and 384 wells).

BioTek plate reader






BioTek Synergy Mx is the fluorescence plate reader (standard 96 well plates).

ELISA End point assay

The plate readers have been used in General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Biochemistry labs and student/faculty research.

In addition, the Department has recently installed an Agilent MP-AES, which is an atomic emission spectrometer.

MP-AES with autosampler and nitrogen gas generator










Nanodrop UV-Vis instrument allows studying very small samples with high precision.

NanoDrop One






Screening methodology instruments

Microtox luminescence quantifies Vibrio Fisheri in the presence of various pollutants.

Microtox Luminescence instrument quantifies the light output of Vibrio fischeri to screen aqueous samples for various pollutants.


XRF in Use at highway site.









Niton field-portable XRF for elemental analysis on solids, dust wipes, and plastics. Students are routinely using the instrument at field sites and in the laboratory.

In 2017, this instrument was upgraded to a Thermo Niton XL3t which has an integrated camera and GPS. 

Chromatographic instrumentation

Liquid Chromatographs

Agilent 1260 HPLC

One Agilent 1260 series HPLC with a PDA detector and autosampler.

HPLC Agilent 1100 series











One Agilent 1100 series HPLCs are present in the Department collection. The instrument pictured has an autosampler, PDA and a fluorescence detector.

Gas Chromatographs

A student adds her sample via syringe and the compounds volatilize into the gas phase.  The compounds are separated by the column and are detected in the mass spectrometer.

A GC/MS instrument is utilized in Organic Chemistry and collaborative faculty/student research.

The student is injecting his sample into the GC with a flame ionization detector (FID).

For studying organic samples where water is present in the sample, the GC/FID instrument is typically used.




Additional Instruments

Electrochemical instrumentation

Pine instrumentation prepared for microelectrodes.







Pine instrumentation can be configured with various microelectrodes or use the printed curcuit electrodes.

Thermal instruments

The Isothermal Titration Calorimeter (ITC) measures small heat changes in a chemical system.  The typical titration aspect of this instrumentation is that one reactant is added to the thermostatted reservoir containing the other reactant such as a substrate binding to an enzyme. 

Malvern ITC


The Malvern ITC has a capacity to obviously small sample sizes so it is ideal for substrate binding to protein studies.


The Parr Bomb Calorimeter is utilized in Physical Chemistry lab.