Scientific Instrumentation Facilities

Undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry students are the main users of our scientific instruments, which combined value surpasses $3 million.

The Chemistry and Biochemistry department of the University of San Diego has the distinct privilege to be one of a very few undergraduate scientific departments holding state-of-the-art instruments through its Scientific Instrumentation Facilities, such as 500 MHz NMR spectrometer and dual-source X-Ray diffractometer.

Students’ curriculum in our department includes early (during the first trimester of their lower division chemistry &  biochemistry classes) and extensive (access to more than 35 different instruments) hands-on experience with these instruments. These are the same instruments being used routinely by the scientific community at large in academic or private institutions around the world. Our students develop a fundamental expertise on a wide breadth of analytical techniques through their upper division mandatory labs and research projects, where they spend a significant amount of time collecting data on their own on these expensive instruments. This expertise is invaluable for their future professional careers.

Our department prides itself in maintaining modern and functioning Scientific Instrumentation Facilities. To achieve this, the department created a full-time administrator position to assist with the management of its Scientific Instrumentation Facilities. This position was filled in 2007 with the hiring of a Director of Scientific Instruments, who holds a Masters of Engineering and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Over the past 13 years, the Scientific Instrumentation Facilities has grown on average by 2 new instruments each year.

Current Instrumentation Facilities:

  • Atomic Absorption (AA)
  • Circular Dichroism (CD)
  • Cyclic Voltammetry (CV)
  • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
  • Fluorescence Spectrophotometry (FLUO)
  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR)
  • Fraction Purification Liquid Chromatography (FPLC)
  • Gas Chromatography (GC)
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS)
  • Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)
  • High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • High Pressure Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS)
  • Microplate Reader
  • Microwave Synthesis Reactor
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipative Measurements (QCMD)
  • Surface Plasma Resonance (SPR)
  • Thermal Analysis Suite (TGA / DSC)
  • Ultraviolet and Visible Light Sectrophotometry (UV-Vis)
  • X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD)