Research Facilities

UVA Chemistry People

EPR Laboratory

The department has four EPR spectrometers with multifrequency and pulsed capabilities

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UVA Chemistry People

EPR Laboratory

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is an important tool for the determination of molecular structure and dynamics. Presently, the Department maintains three cw EPR spectrometers (with X- and Q-band), a Bruker ESM, a Varian E-line spectrometer, and a Bruker ELEXSYS 500. In addition, the department has an ELEXSYS580 Pulsed DEER Bruker spectrometer.

The EPR spectrometers are maintained by the Cafiso and Columbus Laboratories. If you have questions about:

  • Bruker EMX contact Wei-Wei Kuo
    Instructions for the Bruker EMX
  • Bruker E580 contact Dawn Herrick
    Instructions for the E580
  • Varian and Bruker Q-band contact Brett Kroncke
  • Instructions for the Varian

Hi-Resolution Mass Spectrometer

The Department of Chemistry has two Hi-Resolution Mass Spectrometers. 

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Hi-Resolution Mass Spectrometer

The Agilent LC-QTOF is located in Chem 175.  The instrument is used to separate components based on their affinity for the stationary phase of the LC column, while the quadrupole time-of-flight MS provides high resolution analysis of the separated compound based on highly accurate time-of-flight measurements.  This provides mass to charge ratios reportable to 4 decimal places.  QTOF is a valuable confirmation technique for synthesis and drug discovery because the chance that a different compound has the same exact mass is extremely low.

LC system: Agilent 1260 Infinity II Prime


*800 bar pump, 0.1 - 5.0 ml/min flow rate

*Heated column compartment

*66 vial autosampler, 0.1 - 40.0 ul injection volume



MS system: Agilent 6545B QTOF


*Agilent Jet Stream dual ESI source: analysis of positively or negatively charged ions by electrospray ionization (ESI); reference nebulizer continually introduces reference mass solution to provide drift correction; superheated nitrogen concentrates ions and increases sensitivity


*Quadrupole time-of-flight instrument provides resolution of ~20,000 (100 m/z) - 45,000 (>1000 m/z) that is independent of acquisition rate

*MS mode allows all ions to be transmitted through quadrupole

*MS/MS mode allows only selected ions to pass through quadrupole.  Ions are then fragmented in collision cell for further characterization

*Instrument can operate in 1700 m/z, 3200 m/z, and 10000 m/z mass range

*Extended dynamic range mode uses high gain and low gain channel to provide up to 5 orders of linear dynamic range.  Results of each channel are stitched together to create the resulting spectrum.  Both trace and bulk components in a sample can be observed.  The resolution is cut in half using this mode.

*Acquisition rate of up to 50 spectra/sec for MS and 33 spectra/sec for MS/MS

*Mass accuracy as low as 0.8 ppm for MS and <2 ppm for MS/MS

*Femtogram scale sensitivity

Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility

The Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF) is a state-of-the-art user facility located with the Materials Science and Engineering Dept (MSE).The facility is dedicated to materials characterization, available for use by all qualified faculty, students and researchers at UVa, as well as by researchers from other universities and industries.

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Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility

The Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF) is a state-of-the-art user facility located with the Materials Science and Engineering Dept (MSE).The facility is dedicated to materials characterization, available for use by all qualified faculty, students and researchers at UVa, as well as by researchers from other universities and industries.

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UVA Chemistry People

NMR Facilities

Solution and solid-state NMR facility for biomolecule and chemical characterization

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UVA Chemistry People

NMR Facilities

NMR Spectroscopy Core Facility

The UVa NMR Spectroscopy Core Facility has five spectrometers for solution samples and one for solid samples. The solution spectrometers include one with a cryogenically cooled probe (800 MHz) and four (three 600 and one 500 MHz) with room temperature probes. One of the 600 MHz spectrometers has an automatic sample changer for unattended, multiple sample data collection. The solids spectrometer has a 500 MHz magnet and several probes that can obtain wideline and high resolution spectra; samples can be spun at rates up to 60 kHz. The spectrometers perform a wide range of experiments for characterization of molecular structure, interactions, and dynamics. The facility is supported by the UVa Medical School and the College of Arts and Sciences and is available to all. Further information is available here



Carries most common chemical and supplies for the teaching and research laboratories

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Hours: 9:00am - 4:00pm

The stockroom is located in room 221 of the Chemistry Building, at the loading dock on the second floor, and carries most common chemical and supplies for the teaching and research laboratories. Students, faculty, and staff are notified daily of deliveries and pick them up at the stockroom. Cam Hawley is the stockroom manager.

Stockroom Hours

Open 9 AM until 4 PM
We are open M-F from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

During Holidays the hours are limited and will be posted here.

(434) 924-1421


Today’s Incoming Shipments to the Stockroom

Stockroom Forms

Request Items for Pickup

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University of Virginia Computation and Data Resource Exchange

Designed to simplify the process of finding local research technology solutions

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University of Virginia Computation and Data Resource Exchange

CADRE is a University-wide exchange designed to simplify the process of finding local research technology solutions. The CADRE website provides a comprehensive list of the software, services, training opportunities, storage solutions, and computational hardware available to UVA scholars. CADRE is multi-disciplinary and supports all eleven schools of the University.

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X-ray Diffraction

This facility is equipped with multiple X-ray diffractometers for single-crystal structural determination of small molecules and macromolecules, as well as powder diffraction studies.

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X-ray Diffraction

(434) 924-4144

X-ray diffraction experiments are used to determine the structure of organic, inorganic and organometallic molecules.

We learn how the atoms in a molecule are connected to one another, as well as the three-dimensional arrangement of the molecules as they pack together to form as solid. 

Further information about the facility is available here: Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility | University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science

The department has one single-crystal dual-source X-ray diffractometer for the structural analysis of small molecules. Polycrystalline (powder) diffraction experiments and protein crystallography can also be done on this diffractometer. Three other diffractometers for polycrystalline samples (powders, thin films and/or bulk materials) are available through the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility.


Instrument Details:

Bruker ApexII Duo with Mo sealed tube (0.71 Å) and Cu IµS (1.54 Å) sources

Instrument Location:

Materials Science Building (MSE) room 108

Crystallographer Location:

                Materials Science Building (MSE) room 103



Sample Submission Procedure:

                All crystals must be accompanied by a sample submission form. Because it is impossible to predict in advance exactly how long it will take to collect a full dataset for any particular crystal, this instrument operates on a first-come, first served basis. To add your name to the waiting list, contact Diane Dickie. When the measurement begins on the crystal ahead of yours, you will be notified by email of the expected finishing time of that experiment, which becomes the start time for your experiment. Exceptions to the order of samples on the waiting list are rare, but could include postponing samples that are expected to need unusually long exposure times until the end of the day so that they can run overnight, or scheduling experiments related to classwork at the time that the class is held. Samples that are CLEARLY LABELED and stable at room temperature may be dropped off at any time. Samples that must be kept cold and samples that are best stored under an inert atmosphere should be kept in your research lab until it is time for your data collection. Please do not leave your samples in the X-ray lab after the experiment is finished. Remember, crystals don’t like vacuums and are often most stable when they’ve got a little bit of supernatant with them, so be careful about isolating and drying your sample.

                Crystals are accepted from researchers outside of the UVA Chemistry department. Please contact Diane Dickie for current fees and shipping information. We offer unit cell screening, full data collection, and structure solution/refinement.



                Students whose research depends heavily on X-ray crystallography are encouraged to learn to collect, solve and refine their own structures. Structure solution and refinement is done with the SHELX software suite within OLEX2. Before you may operate the X-ray diffractometer, you must complete UVA’s Radiation Safety Training for the Safe Use of Analytical X-ray Equipment. You must also be up-to-date on your Chemical Safety and Waste Training. You will then get hands-on training with the diffractometer with supervision continuing until you have proven that you can safely operate the instrument and set up proper data collections independently. To get a more thorough background in X-ray crystallography, graduates students and upper-level undergraduates should consider taking CHEM5380, or attending a workshop like the American Crystallographic Association Summer School or the Canadian Chemical Crystallography Workshop.



Q: How big should my crystal be?

A: Ideally between 0.1-0.5 mm in length, width and depth. Larger crystals can usually be cut to an appropriate size. Smaller crystals can often be successful, but may require longer data collection times.

Q: How much material do you need?

A: Only one good crystal is needed for the data collection, but it is a lot easier to find that one crystal if there are several to choose from. Try to bring at least a few mg if you can. It is possible to recover your leftover sample from the microscope slide by washing off the oil with an appropriate solvent if you have a very limited amount of material, but this may not be practical for compounds that are extremely air- and/or moisture-sensitive.

Q: How is the experiment done?

A: The submitted material is placed in a drop of oil and examined under a microscope. If an appropriate crystal is found, it is mounted on a reusable support (MiTeGen MicroLoop) and placed on the goniometer head under a stream of cold (100 K) nitrogen gas. After centering, a few frames of data are collected to judge the crystallinity and diffraction ability of the sample. Then a set of frames is collected to get enough data to determine the unit cell. The unit cell will be screened against the Cambridge Structural Database and any unpublished structures that are listed on the sample submission form. If no matches are found, a suitable data collection strategy is calculated and run. At the end of the collection, the data is integrated and scaled. The structure is then solved and refined.

Q: How long does it take to get results?

A: A typical data collection takes a few hours, but it could be as short as 20 minutes or as long as several days. Data processing and structure solution/refinement typically takes minutes to hours. It is almost always possible to get a preliminary structure solution before the data collection is complete, though, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get at least a rough idea of what your structure looks like.

Q: What do I get when my structure is completed?

A: You will get a CIF file, which is the file that you will eventually submit to a journal or database. You will get a report, which describes the details of the data collection, data processing, structure solution and structure refinement. It also contains tables of bond lengths, angles, and crystallographic information. You will get a checkcif file, which some journals require in addition to the CIF and which has information about the quality of the structure. You will get help preparing the structure for publication when you’re ready to do that. You will NOT get a picture of the structure unless you ask for it. Most people prefer to make their own pictures so that they can highlight what is important to them. All final results are sent to the student who submitted the crystal AND to the PI listed on the sample submission form.

Q: What information needs to be included on the sample submission form?

A: The sample label should match whatever is written on the sample container, so that it’s clear which form goes with which crystal. The sensitivity/stability information is needed so that the sample is handled appropriately. The other characterization section helps indicate how likely it is that that crystal really is what you think it is. The molecular formula is needed as a starting point for the structure solution. The color is helpful in case the sample changes between the time you submit it and the time it is run. The melting point, if known, will be included in the CIF file. The solvents are very important because solvent often gets trapped in the crystal lattice and could be a part of your final structure. The related structures are requested so that their unit cells can be compared with that of the current crystal to avoid collecting known compounds. The reaction pathway and proposed product are necessary because sometimes the thing that crystallizes isn’t what you expect but is a by-product or a starting material from earlier in the synthesis.

Q: How do I access the crystallographic databases?

A: There is a campus-wide web-access license through the library for both the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) and the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database. You can also install the CSD on your own computer if you request the installation codes from either Diane Dickie (dad8v) or Jeremy Garritano (jg9jh). The data-processing computer in the X-ray diffraction lab has a copy of the PDF4+ database.

Q: How do I access other crystallographic software?

A: We have a department-wide (not campus-wide!) license for Diamond. You can download the software here and then contact Diane Dickie for a copy of the license. It runs on Windows only. You can download a basic version of Mercury as a stand-alone program here, or get the fully licensed version along with Conquest and other CCDC programs here after requesting the installation codes from either Diane Dickie (dad8v) or Jeremy Garritano (jg9jh). Most other software that we use is free for academic use and can be accessed after registering with each company. If you are planning to solve your own structures, you will need OLEX2, SHELX and Platon. Programs that may be of interest to highly experienced users include in Jana2006 and Max3D.

Q: How and when should I deposit my crystal structure in a database?

A: There are two options for depositing structures, and both are done here. Structures that will be included in a paper are deposited as pre-publication structures. This gets you a deposition number that can be included in the paper, but the structures are kept confidential until the paper is published. If more than one year goes by and your paper hasn’t been published, the database may contact you to make sure you’re still working on the paper. You can extend the confidential embargo as long as necessary. Structures can also be deposited as CSD Communications  or ICSD Communications. Structures published this way are immediately publicly available in the database. They receive a permanent digitial object identifier (doi) and can be cited just like a paper, but they don’t require any additional writing. This route is recommended for structures that aren’t likely to be included in a traditional paper (starting material, by-product, crystal found in an NMR tube that was sitting in the back of a fume-hood for two years, etc.) and for structures that would otherwise be a very minor component in a paper focused on other,  non-structural features.

Q: How do I publish my crystal structure?

A: Each journal has different guidelines for what is required when including a crystal structure in a paper. Some journals want you to deposit your CIF in a database such as the CSD or ICSD and then list the deposition number in the paper, while others ask for the CIF as part of your supporting information package. Some want each structure in its own CIF file, some ask for multiple structures to be combined into a single CIF. If your structure is “compound 3” in the paper, your future readers will thank you if you also publish your CIF as “compound 3” instead of the code it was assigned in the X-ray lab, especially when there is more than one structure in the paper.  Requirements for figures showing crystal structures and tables of crystallographic data also vary from journal to journal. Check the author instructions as you’re writing your manuscript, and ask your crystallographer for help if needed.

Q: Should I include my crystallographer as a co-author on my paper?

A: Usually, yes because your crystallographer is interpreting data, not just collecting it. To get the refined crystal structure in your CIF, the crystallographer designed a proper data collection strategy, processed the diffraction images into useable data that accounts for the symmetry, absorption properties and imperfections (twinning, etc.) of your crystal, and used that data to determine the exact positions of every atom in your structure, including any that are disordered. This requires time and expertise, and meets the authorship definition for most scientific journals. If you do not feel that the crystal structure is a big enough part of your paper to merit co-authorship for your crystallographer, you should consider giving your crystallographer credit for the work by depositing the crystal structure in the appropriate database as a CSD Communication or ICSD Communication, and then citing that Communication in your paper. Remember to give your crystallographer enough time to review any manuscript drafts.