Research facilities and equipment

The School of Chemistry is able to offer access to a wide range of modern research instruments and facilities, including:

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instrumentation

We have solution and solid-state NMR Spectrometers operating at 800, 700, 600, 500 and 400 MHz in Chemistry and the Bio21 Institute.

Book Instrument Use at ChemistryBook Instrument Use at Bio21

NMR Spectrometers at Bio21
Frances Separovic and her Lab Group on the 800Mhz Spectrometer at Bio21

Mass Spectrometers

Facilities include Shimadzu QP5050 GC/MS, Micromass Quattro ll Triple-Quadrupole and a Finnigan MAT GCQ Quadrupole Ion Trap.

Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometers

The School of Chemistry X-ray Diffraction Facility has two single crystal X-ray diffractometers from Agilent Technologies: an XcaliburS diffractometer fitted with a Cu source; and a Dual Source SuperNova diffractometer (both Cu & Mo sources).

These instruments are available for use by staff and students in the School. This can involve training in the use of the instruments, collecting data and structural determination, or having the structure determination carried out on samples submitted to the Facility. Contact Dr Robert Gable or Prof. Jonathan White.

University of Melbourne Specialist Store

The University of Melbourne Specialist Store provide products that assist with teaching and research to the School as well as other approved customers. A satellite site operates in the basement of the Chemistry Building with the main hub at Bio21 Institute located on Flemington Rd.

Visit The Store

Other facilities and resources

The School also supports a major laser facility including a Coherent Femtosecond Ti:S Laser, a Reninshaw 2000 Raman Microprobe, a tuneable infrared optical parametric oscillator, and picosecond and nanosecond laser systems.

The School also maintains an EPR spectrometer and a wide variety of other spectrophotometric instrumentation for routine and high resolution work, including e.g., IR & FTIR; alpha & beta counters; AA, GC & HPLC; UV/Vis and fluorescence. Further information about atomic force microscopy and other services is available here.

The research groups in the School are also supported by skilled technicians in glass blowing, electronics, IT and by a fully equipped mechanical workshop. Researchers in the School have access to  high performance computing facilities.


Science Technical Workshop

The Faculty of Science Mechanical Workshop and Electrical Workshop are located on the Ground floor in the David Caro building. For specific jobs, please contact the mechanical workshop +61 3 8344 5427, and the electronics workshop +61 3 8344 5434.

The hours of operation of the mechanical workshop are 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, and for the electronics workshop are 8:45 am to 5:00 pm. Most jobs, depending on complexity and availability of materials, will require at least 2 weeks notice. Each job request must have a job sheet attached that is completed with an account number and supervisor's/manager’s signature. The jobs sheets are available from the workshops or the School Intranet. There is also a student workshop which is available for general staff and student usage from 8:00 am till 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday. This workshop is not available outside of these hours unless accompanied by another safety/workshop trained person. The student workshop is only available to those individuals who have been authorized and certified by their group leader and supervisor. A prerequisite for this is the completion of the "Safe Workshop Practices and Procedures" course. This course must be completed and signed off by the group supervisor/manager and sighted and signed by the Workshop Manager, Michael Zammit. To complete this course contact the Mechanical workshop.

Electronics Workshop

The electronics workshop manages the electronics equipment in the teaching and research laboratories at both School of Chemistry's precincts at the Masson building and Bio21. The equipment maintained includes X-ray Diffractometers, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), various spectrophotometers, laser systems, Electron Spin Resonance (ESR), pH and conductivity meters, heating apparatus, Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM) and potentiostats. The staff who maintain this equipment possess a broad range of expertise, including advanced electronics design, manufacturing and equipment modification.

Novel designs undertaken by workshop staff include: repetitive accurate determination of steel ball position displacement in a pressurised rolling ball viscosity apparatus, various single liquid drop generator apparatus, modulus n PLL system for laser locking, solenoid valve pulse systems and a specialised stepper motor control system with firmware to control LCD and press buttons.

Mechanical Workshop

The workshop's brief is to provide an effective support service to the School's teaching and research activities, at both the Masson and Bio21 buildings. The workshop also provides a maintenance service for the teaching and research laboratories servicing vacuum pumps, heater stirrers and steam baths.

Tasks include the design, modification or repair of equipment, ranging from simple to specialized, or unique. This range of work requires various trade disciplines such as milling, turning, drilling, welding, forming, carpentry and sheet metal work. Work is also performed using various materials including timber, different ferrous or non-ferrous metals, polymers and machineable ceramics.

CAD software is used to assist design. The workshop also has a computer operated milling machine to enable the manufacture of complex shapes. Our staff have expertise in vacuum technology and material selection as well as a long history of providing workshop support in teaching or scientific establishments.

We liaise and work with staff from Chemistry's electronics and glass workshops when required for particular projects.

Glass Blowing Workshop

Les Gamel provides a glassblowing service for the manufacture and repair of scientific instruments required by research and teaching staff at the School of Chemistry. This service is also extended to other University departments, depending on the need and scope of their requirements. He is the only in-house glassblower employed at a Victorian University and one of the few working within the Australian university system.

Les creates standard glassware for use in laboratories, as well as unique pieces to detailed specifications. Les has been at the University since 1992 and finds the job of assisting staff and students with their research very rewarding.

Environmental health and safety

Environmental Health & Safety is very important at the School of Chemistry. From the first year of Chemistry study, students work in laboratories, so must learn the appropriate safety protocols and procedures when working with chemicals and scientific equipment. These include always wearing a lab coat and safety glasses and, if relevant, putting your hair up when in a laboratory.

Other procedures include the use of visitors sign-in books, the safe and appropriate method of waste disposal and guidelines for the storage of hazardous chemicals.

Staff and students who are not working in laboratories should also be aware of safety procedures, including the emergency evacuation routes and the locations of fire extinguishers and first aid equipment.

The School of Chemistry's Safety Website