The University Instrument Center maintains a wide variety of analytical and imaging instrumentation. Many of these devices are equipped with automatic samplers and are connected through Western's Integrated Laboratory Network, allowing 24 hour a day access and operation. The Instrument Center is located in ES 508. The following instrumentation is available at the University Instrument Center.


Imaging/Material Analysis

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Vega TS 5136MM w/ EDAX Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) , retractable backscatter detector (BSE), and Gatan Chroma CL (cathode luminescence detector).

The SEM is designed to make detailed images beyond the range of traditional light microscopy. The SEM can be used to look at a variety of materials such as minerals, artifacts, microorganisms, and manufactured material. The SEM software includes functions for image analysis and image processing.

Mass Spectrometry

API Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS)

Applied Biosystems API 2000 Triple Quadrupole

The LC/MS allows for the identification of molecules based on mass. The API 2000 can be used stand alone or in line with our Agilent 1100 Series HPLC. LC/MS is commonly used for environmental analysis, forensic toxicology, and protein and peptide characterization.

Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

Varian CP3800 GC with Saturn 2000 Ion Trap MS

In gas chromatography a liquid sample mixture is injected, vaporized and separated into its molecular components. A mass spectrometer creates fragments from an original or “parent” molecule. It then analyzes those “pieces” of the molecule to provide, among other things, information about the molecular weight of the compound and its chemical structure.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

Agilent 1100 Series pump and autosampler w/ 1260 Infinity series multiple wavelength UV-VIS detector and refractive index detector

HPLC is a method used to separate non-volatile, thermally unstable, molecular species dissolved in solution into molecular components.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

Varian 240 Prostar w/ programmable UV-VIS detector and Waters 432 conductivity detector

HPLC is a method used to separate non-volatile, thermally unstable, molecular species dissolved in solution into molecular components. This system can also be used for anion chromatography.

GPC Gel Permeation Chromatograph (GPC)

Viscotek VE2001 GPCmax with Viscotek 270 dual Low Angle & Right Angle (LALS and RALS), Viscotek VE3580 refractive index, and Agilent 1100 UV-VIS detectors

Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) is a chromatographic technique that separates dissolved molecules on the basis of their size by pumping them through specialized columns containing a microporous packing material. GPC is used to characterize natural and synthetic polymers, biopolymers, proteins or nanoparticles.

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (FAAS)

Varian SpectrAA 220FS w/ SPS-5 and SIPS auto sampling

Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AA or AAS) is one of the most common instrumental methods used to analyze for the presence and abundance of metals and some metalloids. The FAA is used to analyze samples with concentrations in the PPM range.

Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (GFAA)

Varian SpectrAA 220Z w/GTA 110Z and PSD

GFAA spectroscopy is a technique that provides an exceptionally sensitive (ppb range) means of detecting metals and their abundance.

Other Equipment

Critical Point Dryer (CPD)

Quorum Technologies E3000 Series

The CPD is used to prepare certain types of samples for viewing with the SEM. Samples are chemically fixed, dehydrated, and placed in the CPD for drying. This drying technique preserves sample structure.

UV-VIS Diode Array Spectrophotometer

Hewlett Packard 8452

UV-VIS Spectrophotometry uses ultraviolet and visible light to determine chemical properties and quantities of both molecular and ionic species.

Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC)

Packard 1900 CA Tricarb

Liquid scintillation counters are an effective method for detecting and measuring the amount of radioactivity present in a chemical sample.

Page Updated 02.21.2017