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Southern Oregon University


Chemistry Department Facilities and Instrumentation

Rapid advances in the capabilities of chemical instrumentation have made these instruments indispensable tools in industry, government, and academia. Chemistry students at Southern Oregon University are exposed to a wide range of state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation in both their course work and through research projects.

The Science Building is home to the SOU Biotechnology Center, of which the Chemistry Department is a member. The Biotechnology Center houses a genetic analyzer, in addition to an extensive array of modern biochemical and molecular biology instrumentation. The Biotechnology Center was founded in 2002.

The Chemistry Department maintains two microcomputer labs in close proximity to faculty offices. These labs contain student-dedicated networked computers and course- specific software. In addition, all Science classrooms are equipped with networked computers and high quality projection systems.

The Chemistry Department houses the Organic Spectroscopy Laboratory.  Re-equipped in 2001 through the assistance of NSF-MRI and Agilent Technologies University Relations Grants, the lab is extensively utilized by students in the Organic Spectroscopy course (Ch 340), Organic chemistry labs, and for student and faculty research.  The lab includes:

  • Bruker Avance 400 MHz FT-NMR
  • GC-MS (Agilent 6890N with an Agilent 5973 mass-selective detector)
  • FT-IR (Perkin-Elmer Spectrum One with an Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) accessory)

In addition to hands-on experience with structural characterization techniques in the Organic Spectroscopy Laboratory, chemistry majors at SOU are required to learn how to operate analytical instrumentation routinely used in university, industrial, and government laboratories. The SOU Instrumental Analysis Lab houses chromatographic, spectroscopic, and electrochemical instrumentation for the determination of substances, often at the trace level (parts per million and lower). Instrumentation available in the SOU Chemistry Department includes:


  • TJA-Unicam SOLAAR 989 Flame Atomic Absorption (FLAA) Spectrometer
  • Perkin-Elmer Optima 2100 Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES)
  • Varian Cary 1E UV-Visible Spectrophotometer


  • Waters 600 High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) with a Waters 2996 Photodiode Array (PDA) UV-Visible detector
  • Hewlett-Packard 5890 Gas Chromatograph (GC) with a flame-ionization detector
  • Agilent 1100 HPLC with autosampler, column temperature control, and diode array detector 
  • Agilent CE Capillary Electrophoresis system with built-in autosampler


  • CH Instruments Model 832 Bipotentiostat
  • Multiple pH/mV meters equipped with Ion-Selective Electrodes (Na, K, H, F, NO3, NH4, Ca)

The Department maintains a laser facility for use by students in the physical chemistry sequence and for student research projects. Currently, the main laser source is an Ar-ion laser. A CCD camera coupled to a research-grade spectrometer allows students to make very precise spectroscopic measurements. Chemistry students and faculty also have access to a scanning electron microscope, as well as a thermogravimetric analyzer, differential scanning calorimeter, and an X-ray diffractometer.  The Department also houses a Nicolet Magna 550 FT-IR Spectrometer with Nic-Plan IR microscope for student research projects, and is equipped to perform specialized wine analysis as a part of student and faculty research.