Chemical Analysis Facility
Introduction to the Facility
The Department of Molecular Sciences offers a comprehensive package of analytical and technical services to universities and outside companies. The Chemical Analysis Facility has a wide range of high-quality modern equipment, operated and maintained by qualified personnel. All work is undertaken with speed, accuracy and a full guarantee of confidentiality, at very competitive prices.
The Chemical Analysis Facility is not intended to compete with commercial or government laboratories, which in general, serve restricted market niches and are dedicated to relatively inflexible tasks and high sample throughput. Instead, our aim is to provide consultancy and analytical services in areas such as; Non-routine types of analysis, Analytical method development, Materials QA (e.g. Purity, performance and degradation). We also undertake work in forensic chemistry, providing expert witness at court appearances.
In a typical year the Chemical Analysis facility will manage over 30 consultancy and non-routine analytical projects for external clients covering a wide range analytical challenges. As such, we have an extensive portfolio of analytical experience. Our clients are diverse and include industrial companies, legal firms involved in litigation or intellectual property, government organisations and other scientific consulting organisations.
The Elemental Microanalysis Service provides a CHN, CHNS, or O elemental analysis service for the wider research community within Australia as well as for the research needs of the Faculty of Science. CHN, CHNS, or O analysis provides a quick and inexpensive method to find sample purity, and when used in conjunction with mass spectroscopy and NMR data can be used to characterise a compound.
Thermal analysis measures physical or chemical changes in a material as a function of temperature. Two common, complimentary, techniques of thermal analysis offered by the Thermal Analysis Service are Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). DSC provides information about physical and chemical changes that involve endothermic and exothermic processes, or changes in heat capacity, and is useful in materials testing (e.g. proteins, foods, plastics, pharmaceuticals etc.). TGA is a technique for measuring changes in mass as function of temperature and is primarily used to determine the composition of substances.
Chromatography is the collective term for a family of analytical techniques where a mixture is separated into its individual components. The mixture, dissolved in a 'mobile phase', is passed through a stationary phase, where the individual components of the mixture are separated. Once separated, the components of interest may be further identified and quantitated. The following chromatographic analytical techniques and expertise are provided by the Chemcial Analysis Facility:
Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique used for determining masses of particles, for determining the elemental composition of a sample or molecule, and for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules. The combination of Mass Spectrometry with chromatographic techniques provide a powerful tool for the separation, quantitation and identification of the components of mixtures.
Spectroscopic Analysis (AAS/FTIR/UV-Vis)
Spectroscopic Analysis is a useful form of analysis providing both qualitative and quantitative information. The specificity of spectroscopic analysis allows compounds to be distinguished from one another in a mixture, making spectroscopy useful in wide variety of applications from characterising paint chips to measuring trace metals in water.
The Chemical Analysis Facility also offers most common forms of routine analysis. e.g. Karl Fischer (KF) for water content, density/specific gravity of liquids, pH (acidity, alkalinity), testing of water sources, for items like nitrate, sulfate, cyanide etc. Wet chemistry is a term used to refer to chemistry generally done in the liquid phase. It is also known as bench chemistry because many of the tests performed are done at a lab bench.
Professor Peter Karuso
The Chemical Analysis Facility provides its services through Access Macquarie Limited, the commercial consulting, research, training and commercialization company of Macquarie University.