CSL Photo

The CSL Building provides more than 40,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space.

diffractometer photo

Professor Carl Carrano and the Bruker X8 APEX diffractometer.

students working on Macromolecular diffractometer

students working on Macromolecular diffractometer.
(photo credit: Anna Quezada)

Machine shop

Machine Shop

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is located in the new Chemical Sciences Laboratory Building (CSL) on the northeast corner of campus.

Facilities in the Department

SDSU Chemistry NMR Facility

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has three Varian VNMRS nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers:

  1. VNMRS 600 MHz, installed in Spring 2007, and generally dedicated to biomolecular studies;
  2. INOVA 500 MHz, allocated for specialized work such as variable-temperature and kinetics studies;
  3. VNMRS 400 MHz, installed in Fall 2006, the workhorse machine for all synthetic chemists in the department, equipped with a sample changer for overnight use.

A complement of probes provides the ability to observe the resonances of 1H, 19F and all nuclei with resonance frequencies between 31P and 15N. These probes can perform all modern one- and multi-dimensional experiments that are essential for chemical research. All of the spectrometers are capable of indirect detection and are equipped with pulsed-field gradients. The 500 and 400 MHz spectrometers have automated dual broadband probes (1H-19F/15N-31P) that can be automatically tuned for any nucleus in these ranges and for any solvent. The 600 and 500 MHz spectrometers have three channel (1H/13C/15N) probes. The 500 MHz spectrometer has a probe for triple or quadruple resonance work, capable of simultaneous or single irradiation of 13C, 15N, and 31P frequencies. All probes have variable temperature capability.

The spectrometers are being networked, allowing data to be remotely processed. Students routinely acquire data on the 400 MHz spectrometers. In addition to meeting the educational and research needs of the university, the NMR facility provides analytical services for industry and other educational institutions. Dr. LeRoy Lafferty is the full-time administrator of this equipment.

SDSU Chemistry X-Ray Diffractometer

The Department is well-equipped for both small molecule and macromolecular structure determinations.

Small molecule work is carried out on a Bruker X8 APEX X-Ray Diffractometer, featuring

  • Bruker's highest sensitivity (170 electrons/Mo photon) CCD detector and an extremely fast readout rate (0.3 sec at 5122 resolution),
  • a short beam path for high intensity,
  • the Kappa goniostat geometry,
  • comprehensive control and structure determination software.

This diffractometer is housed in the Chemical Sciences Laboratory Building, and serves the structure determination needs of the numerous groups in organic and organometallic synthesis in the Department.

The SDSU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facility consists of the following:

  • Rigaku RU-H3R 18 kW rotating-anode x-ray generator,
  • R-Axis IV++ image plate detector,
  • Osmic Blue x-ray optics system,
  • Oxford Cryosystems 700 Series Cryostream cryostat,
  • Inverse phi sample mounting goniometer,

The 300 mm x 300 mm detector aperture offers high spatial resolution, while the data recognition, based on photostimulated luminescence, is capable of remarkably low background noise compared to CCD detectors, allowing a dynamic range of nearly six orders of magnitude. The use of dual plates permits the instrument to acquire exposures and read out data simultaneously.

SDSU Chemistry Mass Spec Facility

This lab houses several GC- and two HPLC-mass spectrometric systems, available for highly precise quantitative and qualitative analysis of complex samples. Among other projects, these systems are presently engaged in a long-term study of effects of tobacco smoke in association with the SDSU School of Public Health.

SDSU Chemistry Machine Shop

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Machine Shop is managed by Benno Spingler, who has extensive experience in fabrication in both metal and wood. The shop occupies about 1600 sq. feet of space and is equipped with two mills, a 13-inch lathe, drill press, 22-inch bandsaw, horixontal bandsaw, and numerous sheet metal and wood-working tools. An extensive metal stock is available.

The space is also used for the repair and maintenance of our many vacuum pumps.

Other Instruments

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU provides a substantial inventory of modern chemical instrumentation in support of teaching and research. Included are systems for the performance of nearly all major types of chemical separations; several GC- and two HPLC-mass spectrometric systems; two FT infrared spectrometers; ultraviolet-visible spectrometric instruments for both atomic and molecular emission and absorption studies; electrochemical instrumentation for potentiometric, voltammetric and coulometric measurements; radiochemical instrumentation; and laser systems for spectroscopy. Several groups have inert-atmosphere gloveboxes for conducting research on air- and moisture-sensitive compounds.

The departmental computer lab has 25 personal computers (Mac and PC) for general use, and numerous research-grade computers are housed in individual laboratories. Access is also available to accounts at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

In-house support staff include full-time NMR, analytical instrument, and electronics technicians as well as a shop technician for machining, plastic working, welding, and other fabrications needs.