Chemistry / Biochemistry
Department Chair:
Rebecca Whelan

Administrative Assistant:
Rachel Wysocki

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8300
Fax: (440) 775-6682

Science Center A263
119 Woodland St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Office Hours: 8:00-noon | 1:00-4:30pm



The chemistry department strives to provide its faculty and students with the most current instrumentation for teaching and research. Much of our equipment is purchased with funds from internal and external sources, such as private foundations, government agencies (e.g. instruments purchased in part with funds from the National Science Foundation grant programs are marked below with an *), corporations, and alumni. Our major equipment holdings include:


A Nicolet FT-infrared/Raman spectrophotometer*, several FT-infrared instruments, a Perkin-Elmer atomic absorption spectrophotometer, a Varian Cary 5E UV-Vis-NIR instrument with diffuse reflectance and thin-film accessories*, a Hewlett-Packard diode array spectrophotometer, a microplate reader, a JY Horiba spectrofluorometer.

NMR Spectrometers
A 600-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (Magnex magnet, and Techmag console)* that has high-resolution solutions capabilities as well as solids magic angle spinning capabilities. Our 400-MHz Varian 400 NMR spectrometer offers walk-up collection of proton and carbon spectra as well as observation of other nuclei including phosphorus-31 and nitrogen-15.

Several Hewlett-Packard gas chromatographs (GC), a Thermo-Finnigan GC-ion trap mass spectrometer with chemical ionization capability*, an Agilent liquid chromatograph with diode array detector and attached single quadrupole mass spectrometer (LC-MS), a Pharmacia electrophoresis system, equipment for protein purification.

A Princeton Applied Research polarographic system, a Bioanalytical Systems voltammograph, a Cypress Systems computerized electroanalytical system, a variety of probes including a dissolved oxygen sensor.

Rigaku Ultima IV powder X-ray diffractometer* with capabilities for variable-temperature, small-angle X-ray scattering, and thin film analysis.

Thermal Analysis
Simultaneous TGA-DTA Thermogravimetric Analysis* SDT2960 TA Instruments with heating range up to 1000°C connected to an FTIR evolved gas analyzer. Differential Scanning Calorimeter, DSC 2010 TA Instrument*.

Housed in the department is a computer classroom with 14 Apple iMacs; available software includes Microsoft Office, MacSpartan, ChemDraw, SciFinder Scholar; connections (wired and wireless) to the campus network throughout the building; data projectors and document cameras in every classroom; a set of laptops for use in classrooms and labs.

The science division has a supercomputer, a so-called Beowulf cluster, on campus to meet present and future computing needs for modeling, simulations, and number-crunching. The system consists of a 64-node computer cluster, with each node having two 2.0 GHz 64-bit AMD Opteron processors, 4.0 GB of RAM, and a 120 GB hard drive. Two of the major players in securing funding for the project and in the use of the extreme processing speeds are pictured at the right -- Manish Mehta and Matt Elrod of the chemistry department.