Research facilities

The School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Keele is home to a suite of state-of-the-art experimental and analytical instrumentation. Items of major research infrastructure based in the Lennard-Jones Laboratories are listed below. For access or to discuss sample requirements please email the named contact person for each instrument.

In addition, the Central Sciences Laboratories at Keele house a range of spectroscopic instruments including UV-Visible and fluorescence spectrophotometers, infrared and Raman spectrometers and GC-MS facilities.

both bert and ernie Two 400 MHz NMR spectrometers, each with capabilities for solution or solid-state measurements.

Solution state

  • 5mm BBFO – Z Gradient probe
  • Nuclei range 1H / 19F / 15N – 31P
  • Variety of 1D and 2D experiments
  • Variable temperature range: -50 °C to +150 °C
  • Sample Xpress High-throughput 60 position sample changer

Solid state

  • 2.5mm TriGamma MAS Probe 1H / X / Y
  • MAS rates up to 35 kHz
  • X channel 50 – 70 kHz / 13C – 31P
  • Y channel 40 – 50 kHz / 15N – 23Na
  • Variable temperature range: -50 °C to +80 °C

Contact person: Dr Sian Woodfine (s.e.woodfine1@keele.ac.uk)

single-crystal-x-ray-diffraction Key features

  • Mo Kα (0.71073 Å) X-ray source
  • Photon II C14 Pixel Array Detector
  • Oxford Cryostream 800 for temperature control in the range 80-400 K

Sample capabilities

  • Suitable for single crystals of organic or inorganic substances with minimum dimension ca. 20 µm
  • Samples can be mounted using magnetic cryoloops, glass fibres or capillaries
  • Full data processing (solution and refinement to publication quality) can be performed as a service or raw data provided

Contact person: Dr Chris Hawes (c.s.hawes@keele.ac.uk)

x-ray-powder-diffraction

Key features

  • Cu Kα (1.54018 Å) X-ray source with LynxEye detector
  • Flip-stick multi sample changer
  • Can be fitted with capillary sample holder for small quantities or air-sensitive samples

Sample capabilities

  • Suitable for powder samples for phase identification or indexing
  • Zero-background sample holder, borosilicate or quartz microcapillaries available

Contact person: Dr Sian Woodfine (s.e.woodfine1@keele.ac.uk)

preparative-chromatography

Key features

  • 1260 Infinity II Preparative Binary Pump. Flow rate up to 50 mL/min for analytical and preparative scale purifications and separations
  • Autosampler
  • 1260 Infinity II Variable Wavelength Detector
  • ELSD Detector
  • Integrated mass spectrometer for LC-MS Sample Capabilities

Sample capabilities

  • 5-100mg scales
  • Reverse phase, normal phase, monolithic columns
  • All integrated through Agilent OpenLab ChemStation

Contact person: Professor Gavin Miller (g.j.miller@keele.ac.uk)

automated-chromatography

Key features

  • 2 Machines: Reveleris X2 and Buchi Pure C-815 Flash
  • 250 mL/min flow rate at max. 50 bar
  • 4 independent solvent lines
  • Binary, linear, step and isocratic gradients
  • Dual ELSD detection for non-chromophoric compounds and UV 200 - 800 nm detector
  • Fully automated

Sample capabilities

  • Suitable for mg to >100g automated chromatographic purifications
  • Normal and reverse phase columns

Contact person: Professor Gavin Miller (g.j.miller@keele.ac.uk)

elemental-analysis

Key features

  • Simultaneous determination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in solid samples
  • 30 sample autosampler
  • Dedicated analytical balance (0.01 mg readability) for sample preparation 

Sample capabilities

  • Each measurement is performed on 1-2 mg of solid
  • Organic or inorganic samples
  • Reference standards for high or low carbon content available with vanadium pentoxide combustion aid

Contact person: Dr Chris Hawes (c.s.hawes@keele.ac.uk)

gas-adsorption-analysis Key features

  • Three independent analysis ports with 1000, 10 and 0.1 torr transducers
  • Physisorption, chemisorption and vapour adsorption capabilities
  • Six probe gas inlets
  • Four sample preparation stations with activation temperatures up to 400 °C

Sample capabilities

  • Three analysis temperature control options (dewar, water recirculator or furnace)
  • Control and analysis software for BET surface area, DFT pore size distribution and enthalpy
  • of adsorption calculations
  • Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) chemisorption measurements
  • Typical sample size ca. 20-50 mg

Contact person: Dr Vladimir Zholobenko (v.l.zholobenko@keele.ac.uk)

flow-equipment

The Keele flow laboratory houses state of the art pumps that allow a range of flow conditions including packed-bed reactors, liquid-phase reactors and multi-phase (gas/liquid) reactors.

Specific equipment includes:

  • Eldex Optos 1SM series pumps (Flow rate 0.003 – 5 mL min-1)
  • Knauer AZURA P 4.1S pumps with pressure sensor (Flow rate 0.001 – 10 mL min-1)
  • Waters fraction collector
  • Gilson FC203 fraction collector
  • Fisherbrand Digital Dry Baths with customised column heating blocks
  • Omnifit columns (up to 15 mL internal volume)

Contact person: Dr Matt O’Brien (m.obrien@keele.ac.uk) or Dr Sebastian Cosgrove (s.cosgrove@keele.ac.uk)

thermogravimetric-analysis Key features

  • Simultaneous thermogravimetric analysis and differential thermal analysis
  • Ambient temperature to 1200 °C
  • Programmable temperature ramp and dwell cycles

Sample capabilities

  • Suitable for samples 1-10 mg
  • N2, O2 or air atmospheres

Contact person: Dr Vladimir Zholobenko (v.l.zholobenko@keele.ac.uk)

computer simulations undertaken by the Astrophysics group credit: R. Hirschi

Above: Example of computer simulations undertaken by the Astrophysics group. Vertical crosssection of the turbulent flow inside a star where carbon fusion at the bottom of the image makes the plasma buoyant and drives turbulence. The colour indicates the speed of the plasma (credit: R. Hirschi).

Key features

  • Mixture of CPU and GPU (P100) architecture comprising a total of several hundred CPU cores
  • Several hundred TBs of data storage

Contact person: Professor Raphael Hirchi (r.hirschi@keele.ac.uk) or Dr Barry Smalley (b.smalley@keele.ac.uk)

School address

Lennard-Jones School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Lennard-Jones Building
Keele University
Staffordshire
ST5 5BG, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1782 734921 (School Office)
Email: chemistry@keele.ac.uk, forensics@keele.ac.uk, physics@keele.ac.uk

Programme directors

Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry
Dr Matthew O'Brien
Tel : +44 (0)1782 734371
Email : m.obrien@keele.ac.uk

Forensic Science
Dr Richard Darton
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733345
Email : r.j.darton@keele.ac.uk

Physics and Astrophysics
Dr Arumugam Mahendrasingam
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733312
Email : a.mahendrasingam@keele.ac.uk

 

Admission tutors

Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry
Dr Natalie Capel
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733584
Email : n.j.capel@keele.ac.uk

Forensic Science
Victoria Cartwright
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733584
Email : v.cartwright@keele.ac.uk

Physics and Astrophysics
Dr Patrick Connell
Tel : +44 (0)1782 733892
Email : physics@keele.ac.uk or p.j.connell@keele.ac.uk