Chemistry Facilities and Equipment

At Pacific University we are committed to giving our chemistry students hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment early in their studies. First-year chemistry classes introduce students to the basic uses of chemical equipment, including computational tools, then in the second year organic laboratory course students will use our FTIR and NMR instruments for their experiments. Chromatographic and additional spectroscopic analyses, including mass spectroscopy, are introduced in the third and fourth year chemistry curriculum. Students gain experience operating the instruments, designing experiments, and analyzing instrumental data in analytical chemistry classes.

Shimadzu High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

The HPLC can separate complex mixtures of wide range of chemicals, and tell you how much of each component is present. By monitoring several wavelengths per chemical, this instrument can also be used to identify components of a mixture.

It is used in analytical and environmental chemistry to measure non-volatile and thermally unstable molecules.

Our instrument is equipped with a Diode Array Detector (DAD).

Horiba Jobin Yvon Fluoromax 4 Fluorimeter

The Fluorimeter is used for teaching experiments in organic and physical chemistry.

Our instrument is equipped with Quanta counter to determine the quantum yield of fluorescent chemicals.

Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

The GC/MS can separate complex mixtures of organic chemicals, identify the components and tell you how much of each component is present.

It is used in instrumental and environmental chemistry and for identification of unknown compounds in upper division chemical synthesis projects. Our instrument is equipped with a 150 well auto-sampler, direct insertion probe andis capable of EI, and both NCI and PCI.

Bruker Avance 300 Ultra Shield Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR)

Pacific University received a new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR).This instrument is a 300 MHz superconducting NMR spectrometer with the capability of measuring H-1 and C-13 spectra. 

The system includes a Sun Workstation for experiment control, data analysis, and spectrum simulation. Multidimensional NMR spectroscopy and temperature dependent studies are part of our upper level courses. The NMR spectrometer is used in organic chemistry to identify chemical compounds and to understand the structure of molecules.

In physical chemistry temperature dependent studies can be used to study kinetic and thermodynamic properties of molecules. We also teach a short course focusing exclusively on high field NMR

J-Y Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrophotometer (ICP)

Samples are injected into an argon plasma at 10000 °C in the heart of this instrument and it detects the levels of the different elements in the sample.

It is often used in environmental chemistry to analyze contamination levels in water samples but it can be used in many applications in analytical chemistry where the amount of an element in a sample needs to be determined.

Thermo Scientific Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR)

The FTIR is used in sophomore organic chemistry to identify chemical functionality in organic compounds. The Nicolet iS10 is equipped with a diamond Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) unit that allows students to place samples directly onto a diamond face for rapid and easy analysis.

In addition, the instrument is used in physical chemistry to study the interaction of light with molecules in the gas phase.

Applied Separations Spe-ed Prime Supercritical Fluid Extractor (SFE)

The SFE is used by students to extract, purify, or synthesize components of a mixture using carbon dioxide as a solvent.  The SFE instrument allows students to learn green chemistry techniques and gain experience with pressurized systems. In instrumental analysis class, students adjust pressure, temperature, and co-solvents to optimize the extraction of chemicals from real-world samples.

Other Equipment

● Varian Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer
● Varian Gas Chromatograph
● EG&G Princeton Applied Research Potentiostat / Galvanostat
● Horiba Jobin Yvon Fluoromax 2 Fluorimeter
● Ocean optics modular spectrometers
● Anasazi Instruments NMR Etf-60
● Parr Hydrogenation apparatus
● Elga 18 M water purifier
● Thermo Scientific Bronsted Thermolyne high temperature furnaces
● Yamato rotary evaporators
● VWR Sonicator

Computational Chemistry

The chemistry department at Pacific recognizes the growing value of computational techniques in addressing a range of challenges in science and medicine, and molecular modeling is a significant part of our chemistry curriculum. We incorporate computational techniques in the general chemistry and physical chemistry lab courses.


The chemistry department is equipped with a Sun workstation and various Macintosh and Intel based computers for student use in Murdock Hall. This is in addition to the computer lab open to all students in the adjacent Strain Science Building.


Chemistry students at Pacific use molecular modeling software from CAChe scientific and Gaussian in their coursework. Students are introduced to modeling software during general chemistry and continue to use it in conjunction with laboratory work during their organic, physical and advanced inorganic chemistry courses.