Department of Chemistry

West Chester University

Chemistry Information
Office: 119 Schmucker
Science Center South
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2631
Fax (610) 436-2890
Email: Department Chair


Facilities Available for
Student Research and Chemistry

The department has a variety of modern scientific instruments, all of which are used in teaching and undergraduate student research. You will learn to operate and interpret results from many state-of-the-art instruments, such as gas and liquid chromatographs, including a number of chromatographs interfaced with other equipment (e.g., mass spectrometry), Fourier-transform infrared spectrometers, 60 MHz and our 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, ultraviolet-visible spectrometers, atomic absorption spectrometers, a differential scanning calorimeter, and a mass spectrometer.

One of the most recent upgrades is a Bruker D2 Phaser X-ray diffractometer. X-ray powder diffraction is a powerful technique for determing the structure of solids as well as their chemical composition.

In addition, many students will have the opportunity to use the department's other specialized instruments (thermogravimetric analyzer, catalyst evaluation facility, cyclic voltammeter, particle size analyzer, atmospheric sampler, titration microcalorimeter, etc.), as well as instruments housed in other departments and available for student use, such as transmission and scanning electron microscopes, laser scanning confocal microscope, analytical ultracentrifuge, scintillation counter and X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. The microscopy facilities are housed within the Center for Microanalysis & Imaging Research & Training (CMIRT), a powerful resource at West Chester for the investigation of the microscopic structure of matter.

Here is a partial list of instruments available within the Department and the affiliated Center for Microanalysis & Imaging Research & Training (CMIRT)

  1. Bruker Avance III 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR) as well as a second 90 MHz NMR
  2. FEI Quanta 400 environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM)
  3. Oxford INCA energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS)
  4. FEI Tecnai T12T transmission electron microscope (TEM)
  5. Bruker D2 Phaser X-ray diffractometer (XRD)
  6. Tousimis AutoSamDri 815 critical point drier
  7. Cary 300 Bio UV/Vis spectrometer with diffuse reflectance attachment and thermostat as well as multiple other UV/Vis spectrometers
  8. Cary Eclipse fluorometer with solid sample holder and thermostat
  9. Multiple gas chromatographic instruments (GC-MS and GC-FID
  10. Micromass Quattro II Liquid chromatrograph (LC-MS)
  11. Multple high performance liquid chromatagraphs (HPLC)
  12. Two research gradeFourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers. The newest is a Nicolet iS50. We also have a venerable Nicolet Protege 460. Both have attachments for diffuse reflectance and attenuated total reflectance measurements. We will soon be adding a Raman module to the iS50
  13. Multiple other IR spectrometers
  14. Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 800 Atomic absorption spectrometer (AA)
  15. Quanta Ray INDI-HG-205 Nd:YAG nanosecond pulsed laser with second and third harmonic generation
  16. Nicolet iN10 infrared microscope
  17. Multiple optical microscopes including an Olympus BX43F polarized light microscope with epifluorescence accessory, two Leica DM750P polarizing light microscopes, one Leica DM750P comparison microscope, two Leica EZ4 stereo scopes and one Leica DM750 compound microscope
  18. Gel electrophoresis
  19. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis
  20. Handheld Innova XRF avenger X-ray fluorescence (XRF) tool
  21. Mettler Toledo DSC821e differential scanning calorimeter
  22. TA Instruments TGA 2050 thermogravimetric analyzer
  23. Wyatt Technologies light scattering detection instrument (Wyatt QELS, Optilab DSP and Dawn EOS) attached to a Perkin Elmer Series 200 HPLC
  24. Smiths Detection ion mobility spectrometer



Green light from a Nd:YAG laser scatters off optics. Several low power cw lasers and one high powered nanosecond pulsed laser are available in our Quantum Chemistry Laboratory.

Green Laser
Justin working with FTIR


Justin Hartline using a diffuse reflectance attachment on the FTIR spectrometer to measure the infrared spectrum of a porous silicon sample.


Bryan Kelly evaporating a 4 nm thick film of a Au/Pd alloy onto a porous silicon thin film to prepare it for scanning electron microscopy analysis.

Brian working with coater
Maria working with light scattering


Maria Angelella working with Dr. James Falcone on research involving silicates.

Much of Maria's work is performed on our Nicolet Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer. FTIR spectroscopy is a versatile technique that allows us to identify compounds by investigating their vibrational properties. Our spectrometer is equipped not only for transmission experiments but also it can perform attentuated total reflectance (ATR) and diffuse reflectance (DRIFTS) measurements.



Bryan Kelly placing a porous silicon sample into the scanning electron microscopy to perform structural analysis. This instrument is located in the Center for Microanalysis and Imaging, Research and Training (CMIRT).

Brian workin with the SEM


A glovebox in Dr. Felix Goodson's polymer chemistry laboratory. Both a dry box and a wet box are available for a range of synthetic processes.


Glassware used for synthesis in the polymer chemistry laboratory.

Glass lattice


Dina Performing Analytical Separations on a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph in the Chromatography Laboratory .


Andria Styborski using the Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer in one of the Analytical Laboratories

Chromatography is an extremely powerful and varied technique that is used to separate the components in a mixture. It is a technique that is essential to both analytical chemistry as well as synthetic chemistry. Here's a tutorial on chromatography.
Balancing act


Elizabeth using one of the many analytical balances in the Chemistry department.


Tube furnace in the Thermal Treatment Laboratory.

Tube furnace
Ion analyzer


Ion Analyzer in one of the Instrument Laboratories.