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Theme: Characterisation Techniques

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This session is compulsory for all experimentalists to attend and will provide useful information regarding analytical facilities at this Department including NMR, mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography. Short descriptions will be given of all available instruments, as well as explain the procedures for preparing/submitting samples for the analysis will also be discussed.

Chemistry: CT2 Fundamentals of Mass Spectrometry Mon 4 Nov 2019   10:00 [Places]

Mass spectrometry is one of the main analytical-chemical techniques used to characterise organic compounds and their elemental composition. This overview will discuss some of the most frequently used mass spectrometry techniques and their specific strengths (e.g., quadrupole, time-of-flight and high-resolution MS), as well as ionisation techniques such as electron ionisation (EI), electrospray ionisation (ESI), matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) and MS techniques to quantify metal concentrations (e.g. inductively coupled plasma MS, ICP-MS) and isotope ratios.

This training will consist of two sessions, introducing you to use of both Water's MS software and MassLynx and Bruker and Thermo's MS software: MALDI and Orbitrap.

Chemistry: CT4 Solution Phase NMR Spectroscopy Fri 8 Nov 2019   14:00 [Places]

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy represents one of the most informative and widely used techniques for characterisation of compounds in the solution and solid state. Most researchers barely tap into the potential of the experiments that are available on the instruments in the Department, so in this short course we will explore the basic concepts that will allow you to make the most of these powerful techniques for routine analysis, as well as introducing more specialised experiments.

The session will also give an insight into some of the more advanced features of the software, and how to optimise your workflow.

Chemistry: CT5 Solid State NMR Spectroscopy Mon 11 Nov 2019   14:00 [Places]

This course will provide an idea of what kind of scientific problems can be solved by solid state NMR. It will cover how NMR can be used to study molecular structure, nanostructure and dynamics in the solid state, including heterogeneous solids, such as polymers, MOFs, energy-storage and biological materials This course will build on a basic working knowledge of solution-state NMR for 1H and 13C, i.e. undergraduate level NMR. In order to highlight the utility of this technique, some materials based research using solid state NMR will also be covered

Chemistry: CT8 Electron Microscopy Thu 5 Dec 2019   14:00 [Places]

This lecture will provide an overview of the Department’s electron microscopy facility. It will cover the theory of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), including cryo-TEM and tomography, as well as analytical techniques Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Examples of how these techniques can be used to characterise a range of samples including polymers, proteins and inorganic materials will be shown.

Chemistry: CT9 Atomic Force Microscopy Mon 18 Nov 2019   10:00 [Places]

Since introduction in 1986 by Binnig, Quate and Gerber, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as one of the most powerful scanning probe microscopy technique. The possibility to acquire three-dimensional morphology maps of specimens on a surface in both air and in their native liquid environment with sub-nanometre resolution makes it a very versatile single molecule technique. A conventional AFM topography map provides valuable information on the morphology and structure of heterogeneous biological samples, while single molecule force spectroscopy can interrogate the biophysical and nanomechanical properties of the sample at the nanoscale. Furthermore, the combination of AFM with spectroscopic modes enable to enquire the optical properties of the sample with nanoscale resolution. In these introductory lectures, the general capabilities of AFM with respect to other scanning probe and electron microscopy techniques will be discussed. The general principles governing the functioning of AFM in contact and tapping mode will be given, as well as the principles enabling the study of nanomechanical properties of samples by force spectroscopy and nanomechanical imaging. Other modes such as scattering SNOM, AFM-IR and Raman will be generally discussed. The course will provide the necessary background to acquire a morphology map by AFM. The last session will consist of a hand-on session introducing the students to the use and functioning of an AFM instrument.

Chemistry: CT10 Vibrational Spectroscopy new Mon 25 Nov 2019   10:00 [Places]

Spectroscopic methods in biochemistry and biophysics are powerful tools to characterise the chemical properties of samples in chemistry and biology, including molecules, macromolecules, living organisms, polymers and materials. Within the wide class of biophysical methods, infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a sensitive analytical label-free tool able to identify the chemical composition and properties of a sample through its molecular vibrations, which produce a characteristic fingerprint spectrum. An infrared spectrum is commonly obtained by passing infrared radiation through a sample and determining what fraction of the incident radiation is absorbed at a particular energy. The energy at which any peak in an absorption spectrum appears corresponds to the frequency of a vibration of a part of a sample molecule. One of the great advantages of infrared spectroscopy is that virtually any sample in virtually any state may be studied, such as liquids, solutions, pastes, powders, films, fibres, gases and surfaces can all be examined. In this introductory course, the basic ideas and definitions associated with infrared spectroscopy will be described. First, the possible configurations of the spectrometers used to measure IR absorption will be discussed. Then, the vibrations of molecules, inorganic and organic chemical compounds, as well as large biomolecules will be introduced, as these are crucial to the interpretation of infrared spectra in every day experimental life.

Chemistry: CT7 X-Ray Crystallography Tue 12 Nov 2019   14:00 [Places]

These lectures will introduce the basics of crystallography and diffraction, assuming no prior knowledge. The aim is to provide an overview that will inspire and serve as a basis for researchers to use the Department’s single-crystal and/or powder X-ray diffraction facilities or to appreciate more effectively results obtained through the Department’s crystallographic services. The final lecture will be devoted to searching and visualising crystallographic data using the Cambridge Structural Database system.

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