Department of Chemistry   University of Oxford

Research Facilities - Department of Chemistry

The Chemistry Research Facilities are divided into the following areas, click on the links to find out about each of their services:

NMR Spectroscopy

The Department’s core NMR facility is housed principally in the Chemistry Research Laboratory and is one of the largest magnetic resonance facilities in the UK, supporting both chemical research and undergraduate practical work. It operates twelve solution-state and two solid-state FT NMR instruments with proton operating frequencies ranging between 200 and 700 MHz, which are capable of running most experiments of interest to the research chemist. Instruments are equipped with an extensive range of capabilities including two cryogenic probes (at 500 and 700 MHz), multinuclear probes, high- and low-temperature operation and automation. The facility is maintained and operated by five staff members and access is provided through fully automated instruments, open-access “hands-on” systems or through a submission service provided by NMR staff. The facility also provides commercial services to industry where possible.

Mass Spectrometry

The mass spectrometry research facility is housed in the Chemistry Research Laboratory and is one of the largest and best equipped mass spectrometry labs in the UK. It comprises sixteen mass spectrometer systems with an equipment base of £2.5 million and a comprehensive range of ionization techniques and inlet systems. These include GC/MS, LC/MS, LC-IRMS, nanoLC/MS, UPLC/MS MALDI TOF, Triple Quadrupoles and a SYNAPT ion-mobility MS system. These mass spectrometers are configured to provide a suite of open access, trained user and research grade systems available for researchers across the department. In addition a high resolution, accurate mass and biological molecule services are provided for departmental researchers and an external Mass Spectrometry Service for outside academic institutions and industry.

ESR Spectroscopy

The Centre for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance (CAESR) located on the first floor of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory presently houses commercial spectrometers for continuous-wave (CW) ESR and pulsed ESR operating at X-band and W-band (9.5 and 94 GHz). In 2013, CAESR was awarded a £1.3M grant from EPSRC to add a state-of-the-art, dual-frequency X-band and Q-band CW/pulsed ESR spectrometer (9.5 and 34 GHz) with an arbitrary waveform generator that allows for application of the most-advanced techniques in pulsed ESR research. In all instruments, samples may be investigated in the temperature range 2.5 - 400K and the centre benefits from a large fleet of lasers and other photoexcitation sources. The CAESR facility primarily serves research groups from the Chemistry, Physics, Materials, Biochemistry and Pathology departments, but users from other university departments and industry are welcome to approach the management about possible ESR collaborations at all times. Instrument training, project consultation, and ESR funding advice are provided by the Scientific Applications Manager and CAESR Directors.

Surface Analysis

The SAF is a suite of equipment housed in several purpose built laboratories in the basement of the Chemistry Research Laboratory. It is primarily used by chemists, however researchers from, amongst others, materials, engineering, physics, biochemistry, glycobiology and medicine use its resources. The SAF contains a wide variety of state of the art scientific equipment capable of many experimental methods including: atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnelling microscopy, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (including IRRAS, PMIRRAS and ATR spectroscopy), ellipsometry, X-ray reflectometry, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, surface characterisation by gas adsorption (surface area, pore size distribution etc.) and dynamic surface tension and contact angle measurements. In addition there is a high vacuum metal evaporator, plasma etcher, ozone lamp and potentiostat for sample preparation and modification.

X-ray Crystallography

The X-ray Crystallography facility is located in the basement of the Chemistry Research Building and contains state-of-the-art single crystal X-ray diffractometers and equipment for sample crystallisation and preparation. The instrumentation consists of two Nonius KCCD Diffractometers and two dual wavelength Oxford Diffraction/Agilent SuperNova A systems, giving access to conventional molybdenum radiation and microfocus copper and molybdenum sources. All instruments are fitted with Oxford Cryosystems’ Cryostreams enabling data collection in the range 80-500K. There are also several microscopes providing a range of magnification options, a hot and cold stage and digital video cameras. Training and support is provided by the facility staff and a commercial service is also available.

Services to Industry from Oxford Chemistry

These facilities can also provide services and expertise to industry. We can work with your company in a variety of formats to suit your specific needs. Services include:

• full analysis with report
• provision of data only
• in-house equipment training
• consultancy

Please contact us by phone on 01865 275687 or email to discuss your needs in more detail.


The University has an extensive list of the research facilities which support the research across the whole University.
See the Small Research Facilities web page



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