Science Instrumentation

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer System

Bruker Avance II 400 MHz Ultrashield Plus NMRWhitman's Hall of Science houses a Bruker Avance III 400 MHz Ultrashield Plus Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer System. The 400 MHz NMR includes:

  • a broadband probe tunable from 15N to 19F, with 1H decoupling and a Z-gradient coil, 
  • an inverse broadband probe that allows for maximum 1H-observe sensitivity with decoupling that covers the range from 109Ag to 31P and a Z-gradient coil,
  • a variable temperature unit, and
  • a 60-slot sample changer

The instrument is used primarily to characterize the structure and interactions of complex molecules, ranging from simple 1D experiments for 1H and 13C nuclei to 2D experiments such as DQF-COSY, TOCSY, NOESY, HSQC, HMQC, and HMBC. The NMR system was installed in January 2010 and is used in organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry labs as well as undergraduate research.

Confocal Microscope

Student Josh Melander at the Confocal MicroscopeState of the art imaging in the life sciences incorporates multiple fluorescent tags to paint different types of cells, and to distinguish the fine details of subcellular structures found within them. Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation, Whitman's Imaging Facility features a Leica SP5 confocal microscope, the research tool of choice for scientists when they need to gather fluorescent images from three-dimensional tissue at high resolution. Faculty and students from Whitman as well as nearby institutions have used the confocal microscope for research related to plant and animal development, disease, brain function and protein biophysics.

X-Ray Diffraction System

Oxford Diffraction Nova X-ray Diffraction SystemThe science division operates an Oxford Diffraction Nova X-ray diffraction system for use in classes and student-faculty research. This system includes a sealed-tube microfocus X-ray source, CCD detector (Onyx), and sample temperature controller (Cryojet).

The instrument is employed for X-ray diffraction analysis of solid and liquid samples. Three classes of experiments are typically carried out:

  • powder diffraction
  • small molecule structure determination
  • macromolecular structure determination

For more information about the X-ray Diffraction Laboratory, click here.

Scanning Electron Microscope

FEI Quanta 250 E-SEMWhitman acquired a FEI Quanta 250 environmental scanning electron microscope (E-SEM) in 2010, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Quanta 250 sample chamber operates in three different vacuum modes and this, plus the cold stage, facilitates the analysis of biological specimens as well as uncoated archaeological, geological, or synthetic materials. An Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) by Thermo has a state-of-the-art Peltier-cooled, 30mm2 silicon drift detector that allows semi-quantitative chemical analysis and x-ray mapping. In the first two years of operation, more than 14 student users and 11 faculty have used the E-SEM for their research and teaching. 

For more information about the Electron Microscopy Lab, click here.