Learn about the technical expertise offered in the Analytical Chemistry Core Lab
The Analytical Chemistry Core Lab staff works in four teams of three to seven individuals, most of them holding advanced degrees in a related field of science. Each team oversees all aspects of the usage, training and maintenance of up to 27 separate analytical systems. Team names roughly describe their main area of focus: organics, inorganics, solids and environmental analysis.
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Equipped with best-in-class liquid chromatography and gas chromatography instruments connected to a range of selective and universal detectors, scientists in the organics analysis unit separate and detect a wide range of chemical compounds both for qualitative as well as quantitative analysis. Some commonly conducted analyses include accurate mass determination of organic molecules using high resolution and high accuracy mass spectrometers, identification and quantitation of organic environmental contaminants in various sample matrices using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, as well as polymer molecular weight determination using size exclusion chromatography.
The surface analysis section of the lab focuses on the characterization of powders and large solid particles. Our staff scientists specialize in measurements of particle size, surface area, pore size and volume, chemical adsorption, surface energy, water vapor sorption, activity and selectivity of catalysts, and many more. The molecular spectroscopy section characterizes materials based on interactions between their molecular bonds and electromagnetic radiation resulting in absorption, emission and scattering. Our techniques span radiation from the ultraviolet to the visible and infrared ranges. We are ready to use techniques such as FTIR, UV-Vis-NIR, Raman, and fluorescence spectroscopy to identify and quantify compounds, but also used thin film transparency, optical band gaps for semiconductors, phosphorescence time life, reaction kinetics, sample mapping and other purposes. Most of the lab’s instruments for thermal and mechanical analysis of materials are also overseen by this group of scientists. Available techniques include TGA, STA, DSC, LFA, DIL and DMA.
The inorganics analysis unit houses some of the most widely used pieces of equipment in analytical chemistry. For example, sediment samples collected by ecologists from the floor of the Red Sea may undergo the same microwave digestion and inductively coupled plasma spectrometer analysis as catalyst samples synthesized in the KAUST Catalysis Center. Our scientists are experienced with a variety of techniques to determine the elemental composition of variable materials including petroleum products, environmental samples, biological tissues or artificial polymers.
Benefiting from our experienced staff scientists support, researchers and students involved with Red Sea, catalysis, advanced membranes, petroleum and clean combustion research use the facility CHNS-O analyzers for elemental analysis. We also feature segmented flow and total organic carbon analyzers that are used in sea water characterization.
The environmental analysis facility utilizes cutting edge instrumentation to perform full-service analytical environmental testing in the areas of emerging organic and inorganic contaminants to support environmental research and regulated monitoring programs. In addition to trace metal quantification, the lab provides data on mercury and arsenic chemical species, organochlorine pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A rigorous protocol of quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) is followed for every sample batch analyzed in the lab to ensure the highest data quality.
The Analytical Chemistry Core Lab is located in Building 3, Level 3, East
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