CHY 378: Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

News & Announcements
  • Day and Time: Mondays, 1:15 - 5:00 pm
  • Location: 
    • Pre-Lab - Room 262, Science Building, Portland Campus.
    • Lab - Room 352, Science Building, Portland Campus.

Course Goals:

By taking this course you will...

  • become familiar with a variety of instrumentation used in a chemistry laboratory
  • develop a background of major chemistry and instrumental principles, and how these are applied in scientific research
  • gain a greater appreciation of good scientific research


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course you should be able to...

  • describe and be able to use instrumentation in the lab, and be able to apply these methods for analyzing various compounds
  • apply your knowledge to understanding current research, and discuss/debate the methods used and the quality of the research
  • Quantitatively express levels and error of various compounds in various solutions and media

Laboratory Content (Tentative schedule)




Course Work Due


                          First week of School - No Lab



Jan. 23rd

Introduction / Writing Workshop



Jan. 30th

Simple Instrumentation

Writing Project


Feb. 6th

Spectroscopy (3 weeks)

Conductivity Manual


Feb. 13th

Spectroscopy Lab #1


                       Winter Break - No Lab



Feb. 27th

Spectroscopy Lab #2


March 5th

Chromatography (3 weeks)

Spectroscopy Lab #3


March 12th

Chromatography Lab #1


March 19th

Chromatography Lab #2 / Research Plan


                       Spring Break - No Lab



April 2nd

Research Project (6 weeks)

Chromatography Lab #3 / Research Introduction and References


April 9th

Research Procedure and Methods


April 16th

Results and Discussion Section Draft


April 23rd

Corrections to Introduction and Methods


April 30th

Final Report



·       Chemical Splash Goggles

·       Carbon-copy laboratory notebook

·       Apron (recommended)

·       USB Flash Drive for saving data



            All procedures mandated and described in the University safety manuals and course lectures will be followed at all times in this laboratory.


Laboratory Requirements


            Attendance is required. If you do not attend lab you, the corresponding work for that lab will only count for 50% of its grade. There are no make-ups on missed labs.


Laboratory Notebooks

            Notebooks need to be brought to each lab. Objectives, procedures, and materials need to be completed before you arrive to lab. You notebooks will be checked before you enter lab each week. If you have not completed these sections you will not be allowed to complete the lab for that day. Post lab questions should be answered in your laboratory notebooks. Notebook pages and post labs are due one week after the laboratory is completed. 


Laboratory Assignments and Reports

            Each laboratory project will have post lab assigned to it. Post lab questions should be answered in your laboratory notebooks and handed in one week after the laboratory has been completed.  Your lab grade will be deducted 50% of the grade if you did not attend lab. Notebooks and post labs will be deducted 5% (up to 50%) for each day late. Please write legibly, if I cannot read it then I cannot grade it.


Research Project and Paper

Research Projects. Each student will work on a 4 week research project. Potential projects are listed below. Research plans are due on March 19th and should include your research objective(s), a detailed methods section of what you propose to do, and a timeline for your project. Research projects will start on April 2nd, and all laboratory work should be completed by April 27th.

Research Papers. One final research paper on your project will be due the last week of lab on April 30th. You will work on sections of this report over the last 6 weeks of the course. This paper will be written in the format of a science journal article. The paper, if acceptable, will be incorporated into the Instrumental Analysis Journal. Your paper will be graded as either, Accepted for publication without edits (A), accepted with minor edits (B), accepted with major edits (C), or not accepted for publication (D-F).  Any edits that need to be made need to be submitted one week after you receive the instructor’s comments.

Research Projects.

Potential research projects for this lab.
  • Levels of metals in office dust (XRF and Mercury Analyzer)
  • Levels of anions in a local water body or to test impurities in beer (IC)
  • Determination of saccharin, sodium benzoate and caffeine in various drinks (HPLC)
  • Spectrometry of phenolic compounds in beer (UV-Vis)
  • SPME-GC analysis of Volatile components in beer (GC)
  • Quantitative analysis using NMR (NMR)
  • Detection or optical brighteners in natural waters (Fluoromax)

If you have an idea for a research project please bring it up to your instructor by Feb. 27th. All research projects will be finalized on March 5th.


Assessment and Grading

  • Laboratory Notebooks and Post Labs – 40%
  • Research Project - 50%
    • Notebook – 10%
    • Plan – 10%
    • Report – 30%
  •  Participation – 10%


Support for Students

If you need course adaptations or accommodations due to disability, please make an appointment with me ASAP. Students experience difficulty in a course for a variety of reasons.  At any point in the semester, if you encounter difficulty with the course or feel that you could be performing at a higher level, do not hesitate consult with me.


For problems with writing skills and time management, contact the Academic Support Center, 301 Payson-Smith Hall (780-4470).






Subpages (1): USM JIA