Equipment and Facilities

Our group is located in the Thomas Graham Building, where we share a laboratory with the group of Professor Glenn Burley. The building was refurbished in the early 2000s. Each fumehood is typically 2 m in width, and includes a Schlenk line connected to house nitrogen and house vacuum. A communal argon/high vacuum line is available for more challenging reactions, and a communal high vacuum single manifold for drying compounds and complexes.

As well as the lab.-based facilities listed below, the group share a write-up area equipped with desk space and computing and printing facilities. Staff and postgraduate students have access to the common room on TG7, which has a kettle, water cooler, microwave, and vending machine.

Group Facilities

  • Innovative Technologies Purelab HE glovebox. Argon-filled, equipped with large and small antechambers, -40 ℃ freezer, < 1 ppm oxygen and < 1 ppm water. This enables us to handle and store very sentitive organometallic complexes.



  • Biotage Microwave Synthesis Apparatus. Reactions can be carried out under microwave irradiation.
  • Buchi Sepacore Purification System. Automated column chromatography system with pumps and fraction collector.
  • Metrohm PGSTAT204 CV apparatus and associated electrodes. Allows electrochemical experiments to be performed.

Departmental Facilities

Many of these facilities are available to users outside the University, including researchers in industry. For further details of the services that can be provided, please see the Facilities page on the Chemistry Department website.

  • NMR Spectroscopy. Four instruments with 400 - 600 MHz 1H observe frequencies and various multinuclear capabilities (AV400, AV3-400, AV3-500HD, AVII-600). All except the AV3-400 feature variable temperature units. Instruments can be used by researchers in open access mode, and full training is given by the technician (Mr Craig Irving) when embarking on research at Strathclyde. The AV400 and AVII-600 instruments can be booked for longer periods for more detailed work such as variable temperature studies and kinetic experiments. The AV3-400 is equipped with a cryoprobe for rapid and sensitive analyses.



  • X-Ray Crystallography. Two instruments, one of which has a newly-upgraded Cu source. Samples are analysed and the data is processed by our crystallographer (Dr Alan Kennedy). These instruments will shortly be replaced with new state-of-the-art apparatus, mostly likely in mid-2021.


  • Mass Spectrometry. Instruments are available for a number of analyses: GC-MS/EI, GC-MS/CI (methane), ESI-MS, MALDI, and LC-MS. Full training is given by the technician (Ms Pat Keating) when starting a research position at Strathclyde, which allows researchers to use the equipment 'hands-on'. For less frequent users, samples can be submitted to the service for analysis.


  • Gas Chromatography. An Agilent GC instrument with FID detection is available for the resolution and accurate quantification of the components of samples submitted for analysis.


  • UV/visible Spectroscopy. A Cary 50 UV/visible spectrometer with peltier-controlled variable temperature cell holder is available for open access use. The associated software allows the analysis of samples and the automated collection of kinetic data.


  • Elemental Analysis. An elemental analysis service is available, which we use to ascertain the identity and purity of new organometallic complexes. Samples are submitted to the technician (Mr Alex Clunie) for analysis. Analysis is carried out on a recently-purchased Exeter Analytical CE440.
  • Dry Solvent Dispenser. An Innovative Technologies PureSolv system is maintained by the Organic Section technician (Mr Frank McGeoch). This dispenses dry solvents (< 10 ppm water); THF, toluene, ether, hexane, and DCM are all available. The water content of each solvent is checked by Karl-Fischer titration on a regular basis.