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Teaching and Research Facilities
Intro Chemistry The introductory chemistry laboratory is located on the first floor of the Kapp Science Building. Students work in this laboratory during their first term perform various experiments and gain experience with modern equipment. Each lab station is equipped with a fume hood, ensuring a safe working environment. In addition each station can be hooked up with our movable computers to collect and process data during a lab experiment.
Computer Lab A computer cluster is connected to the introductory chemistry laboratory. Computers in this cluster are equipped with a variety of software to support student work in chemistry and other courses. All computers are mobile and are moved into the lab for online data acquisition.
Organic Lab In the organic laboratory, students work with small quantities of reactants and use microscale glassware. In this laboratory, they learn to use the basic tools of organic chemistry, such as thin layer chromatography, product isolation and characterization. They also carry out a variety of synthetic reactions.
Independent Research Independent research is an important component of the chemistry program at Alma College. Each professor has their own research laboratory located adjacent to their offices. These labs each contain ample hoods for sample preparation and reactions. Independent research takes place on a close individual basis between the student and professor and allows access to state of the art equipment.
Physical Chemistry Students, pictured here, are running an electrochemical experiment in the Physical Chemical laboratory.
Computational Chemistry Students use workstations in the Alma College Molecular Visualization Laboratory to carry out semi-empirical and ab-initio quantum calculations using Spartan and Gaussian computational packages. The large-screen monitors of these workstations support colorful and detailed views of molecular structures and conformations.
Mass Spectroscopy The organic instrument lab houses a variety of instruments including the GC/MS. Used during the course of Organic and Analytical Chemistry laboratories as well as independent research projects, this instrument combines the separation capabilities of the gas chromatograph with the spectral analysis of a mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer subjects molecules to electron impact, which causes the molecules to undergo fragmentation. These charged particles are then analyzed, telling us about the structure of the molecule. This instrument allows us to separate a mixture into its individual components and to collect mass spectral data on each compound.
Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy is used in a variety of ways in the classroom and in the research lab. AA is widely used at Alma College, from the freshman orientation course to look at gun shot residue to a wide variety of projects looking at metals in environmental samples from locations in Mexico to Michigan.
Infrared Analysis Infrared spectroscopy is an important tool for the analysis of the structure of compounds. Infrared spectra indicate the types of functional groups that are present in the sample. Our Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometers are routinely used to analyze compounds that are synthesized during the laboratory period.
Gas Chromatography The two organic labs and the adjacent instrument lab constitute the organic suite. After compounds have been synthesized and isolated, students use instrumentation to characterize their products. Besides the FTIR spectrometers, there are six gas chromatographs in this lab. The GC is most commonly used to determine purity but it can also be used to isolate small quantities of pure compounds from mixtures.
NMR facility Adjacent to the organic chemistry laboratories is the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance laboratory. This superconducting magnet produces a field of 7.04 Tesla; protons are detected at 300 MHz at this field strength. This Bruker DPX 300 is configured with a broad-band heteronuclear probe so that a variety of nuclei including C13, P31 and B11 can be readily detected. Students collect one-dimensional and two-dimensional data in support of their course work and independent research.
Biotage Microwave Reactor Our microwave reactor allows for controlled rapid heating of a reaction mixture. The resulting elevated temperatures allow reactions to proceed at an accelerated rate, significantly reducing the normal time for a reaction. Our reactor is outfitted with an automated sample changer.