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 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 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:



Varian Cary 5E UV-Vis-NIR instrument with reflectance and thin-film accessories*, an Agilent diode array spectrophotometer, several microplate absorbance readers, a JY Horiba spectrofluorometer, several FT-infrared instruments equipped with ATR cells, a Nicolet FT-IR/Raman spectrophotometer*.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry

Varian 400-MHz NMR spectrometer offering walkup collection of spectra from proton, carbon, and other nuclei, a 600-MHz instrument (Magnex magnet and Techmag console) with high-resolution solutions capability and solids magic angle spinning capability.


Separations / Mass Spectrometry

Agilent gas chromatograph with FID and ECD, a Shimadzu GC-MS (single quad), a Shimadzu liquid chromatograph – ESI/APCI –  triple quad mass spectrometer, several electrophoresis systems.


Thermal Analysis

Mettler-Toledo simultaneous TGA-DSC instrument, differential scanning calorimeter (Mettler-Toledo DSC 3+).


X-ray Diffraction

Rigaku powder X-ray diffractometer* with capabilities for variable-temperature, small-angle scattering, and thin film analysis. The instrument is shared with the Department of Physics.



Bioanalytical Systems voltammograph, a Cypress Systems electroanalysis system, a variety of ion selective electrodes and other probes.



A computer classroom with 14 Apple desktop computers with software including Microsoft Office, ChemDraw, organic and inorganic structure modeling software, and SciFinder (access to Chemical Abstracts). Thee are two other computer classrooms in the Science Center (Mac and Windows OS).

The Science Division operates a high-performance computing cluster* that has the ability to process data sets of an unprecedented size. The instrument, costing nearly half a million dollars, supports research and teaching in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and in other departments. The supercomputer is named SCIURus, using the Latin name for Oberlin’s newly adopted mascot the albino squirrel, and standing for SuperComputing In Undergraduate Research.