Instrumentation at the Department of Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry comprises state of the art research laboratories for preparative inorganic and organic chemistry. For the handling of air-sensitive organometallic compounds, catalysts, and polymers dryboxes are available. Microwave reactors enable mild and rapid organic syntheses. Pressure reactors suited for elevated pressures of up to 1000 bar are utilized. Automated and semiautomated chemical synthesis of organic compounds in general, polypeptides and nucleic acids is carried out with special equipment. The department also operates biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories, which are suited for working with recombinant DNA and proteins alike.
For the structural characterization of molecules in solution, ranging from routine analytics to the elucidation of complex molecule structures, the department operates several NMR spectrometers (250 MHz, 400 MHz, 600 MHz). These will be complemented by a 400 MHz solid state NMR spectrometer for studies of solid materials, a high resolution 600 MHz NMR spectrometer with cryo-probe heads for studies of biological molecules, and a two frequency pulse electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometer.
To study molecular structures in the solid (metal complexes, catalyst precursors and inorganic materials), a modern single crystal x-ray diffractometer with image plate detectors is employed.
Characterization of biomolecular interactions relies on modern SPR methods and CD spectroscopy for structural studies. The identification and structural elucidation of biopolymers, proteins in particular, and proteome analytics employ a high performance FTICR mass spectrometer (ESI- and MALDI-mode), complemented by HPLC-electrospray-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, GC-MS and elemental analysis are carried out in the department.
Modern equipment for optical spectroscopy, non-linear microscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy is currently being set up, thus pulsed laser systems and multiple photon microscopy will become available.
For the analysis of macromolecules, size exclusion chromatography (GPC), also at high temperatures, coupled light scattering-HPLC, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) are used.
The analysis of soft (polymers) and hard matter is carried out by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microsopy (TEM, 120 keV energy filtered). Cryo-preparation, -microtomy, and -TEM enable the analysis of the inner structure and morphology of soft matter down to dimensions of a few nanometers. Small and wide angle x-ray scattering is being acquired. The electron microscopy is situated in the Nanostructure Laboratory, operated jointly with the Physics Department, which comprises state of the art methods for nanostructuring also.