Facilities and Equipment

The chemistry department is located in Murdock Hall on the East end of campus. Building facilities include McGill Auditorium, classroom / laboratories, equipment laboratories, and stockroom. In addition the faculty offices are adjoined by research laboratories for use in directed undergraduate research projects.

Major 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. A previous grant from the Meyer Foundation has allowed us to equip our laboratories with several instruments. 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.

Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer (GCMS)

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 and is capable of EI, and both NCI and PCI.

  • Bruker Avance 3000 Ultra Shield Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR)

In 2012, 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.

Perkin-Elmer Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR)

The FTIR is used in sophomore organic chemistry to identify chemical functionality in organic compounds.

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

Other Equipment

  • Varian Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
  • Varian Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometer
  • Varian Gas Chromatograph
  • Perkin-Elmer High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph
  • EG&G Princeton Applied Research Potentiostat / Galvanostat

Computational Chemistry


In addition to five computers for the faculty development and research, the chemistry department is equipped with a Sun workstation, three newer computers and various older 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. Extensive use of computational techniques is used for analysis and presentation. Molecular modeling is a significant part of our chemistry curriculum.


The chemistry department at Pacific University is equipped with molecular modeling software from CAChe scientific. Students are introduced to the modeling system during general chemistry and begin using it in conjunction with laboratory work during their organic, physical and advanced inorganic chemistry courses. We also offer a short course on computer modeling which we call Reactivity Modeling.