Equipment of the Department

The Department of Chemistry features state-of-the-art research laboratories fully equipped for inorganic and organic synthesis. Reactions under inert atmosphere and handling of sensitive metal-organic compounds, catalysts and polymers are performed in gloveboxes, while microwave reactors allow for fast reactions under mild conditions. Owing to its commitment to overcome the traditional boundaries between chemistry and biology, the Department also provides laboratories for biochemical and cell biological experiments. Pipetting robots and synthesizers for the automated and semi-automated synthesis of polypeptides and nucleic acids are available, as are modern SPR- and ITC-methods for characterizing biomolecular interactions and CD-spectroscopy, from which structural information can be deduced. The Proteomics Centre houses several mass spectrometers which permit both identification and characterization of biopolymers and in-depth proteome analysis. Time-resolved temperature- and light-induced conformational changes in proteins can be studied in detail by means of vibrational spectroscopy.

The Department of Chemistry has use of several NMR spectrometers (400 MHz, 600 MHz), with applications ranging from routine analysis to the structure elucidation of large and complex molecules. The instrumentation includes a high-resolution 600 MHz and a 400 MHz solid-state spectrometer. Next to this, single crystal X-ray diffractometers with image plate and powder diffractometers can be used to determine the molecular structure in solid state samples such as metal complexes, catalysts and inorganic materials.

Paramagnetic samples can be studied by virtue of the Department’s EPR spectrometers, of which an instrument featuring an Arbitrary Wave Generator (AWG) is the most recent acquisition. While special emphasis is placed on EPR imaging, the methods employed in Konstanz also cover electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) and double electron-electron resonance (DEER) experiments. These techniques serve to determine distances in the nanometre range, crucial to the conformational analysis of complex macromolecules.

Across the Department, numerous routine spectrometers for the study of the vibrational and electronic excitation of molecules in solution and in the solid state are in use. The properties of light-emitting compounds can be investigated with luminescence spectrometers. Currently, a state-of‑the-art setup for optical spectroscopy and non-linear microscopy is being established, introducing pulsed laser systems and a Multi-Photon Laser Scanning Microscope, and complementing the microscopy technology provided by the Bioimaging Centre.

Mass spectrometry, coupled in part to a gas or liquid chromatography system (GC- and LC-MS), is another important tool for characterizing small molecules, macromolecules such as proteins and synthetic polymers. For the analytics of macromolecules of either synthetical or biological origin, size exclusion chromatography (GPC, also at high temperature), coupled light-dispersion HPLC and differential thermoanalysis (DSC) are provided.       

Soft and hard materials are studied primarily by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Cryo-preparation, Cryo-microtomy and Cryo-TEM are techniques by which the inner structure of samples can be examined at near-atomic resolution. The electron microscopy facilities are part of the nanostructure laboratory, which is run jointly with the Department of Physics and offers a wide range of methods for nanostructuration.

Within the framework of the SFB 1214, the Particle Analysis Centre was established. Techniques provided are static and dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurements, analytical ultracentrifugation, particle-tracking microscopy, light microscopy, preparative ultracentrifugation – with the option of using a zonal rotor – and wide-angle x-ray scattering.


Paramagnetic samples can be studied by virtue of the Department’s EPR spectrometers, of which an instrument featuring an Arbitrary Wave Generator (AWG) is the most recent acquisition. While special emphasis is placed on EPR imaging, the methods employed in Konstanz also cover electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) and double electron-electron resonance (DEER) experiments. These techniques serve to determine distances in the nanometre range, crucial to the conformational analysis of complex macromolecules.

Across the Department, numerous routine spectrometers for the study of the vibrational and electronic excitation of molecules in solution and in the solid state are in use. The properties of light-emitting compounds can be investigated with luminescence spectrometers. Currently, a state-of‑the-art setup for optical spectroscopy and non-linear microscopy is being established, introducing pulsed laser systems and a Multi-Photon Laser Scanning Microscope, and complementing the microscopy technology provided by the Bioimaging Centre.

Mass spectrometry, coupled in part to a gas or liquid chromatography system (GC- and LC-MS), is another important tool for characterizing small molecules, macromolecules such as proteins and synthetic polymers. For the analytics of macromolecules of either synthetical or biological origin, size exclusion chromatography (GPC, also at high temperature), coupled light-dispersion HPLC and differential thermoanalysis (DSC) are provided.       

Soft and hard materials are studied primarily by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Cryo-preparation, Cryo-microtomy and Cryo-TEM are techniques by which the inner structure of samples can be examined at near-atomic resolution. The electron microscopy facilities are part of the nanostructure laboratory, which is run jointly with the Department of Physics and offers a wide range of methods for nanostructuration.

Within the framework of the SFB 1214, the Particle Analysis Centre was established. Techniques provided are static and dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurements, analytical ultracentrifugation, particle-tracking microscopy, light microscopy, preparative ultracentrifugation – with the option of using a zonal rotor – and wide-angle x-ray scattering.