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Facilities and services

The School has a wide range of research and support facilities available in-house to researchers from within the School and outside (both academic and industrial researchers) subject to availability and upon application. Applications are welcome from the ScotCHEM chemistry departments, who enjoy the same access privileges as St Andrews researchers. See also our business outreach.

You can search the chemistry facilities available at other Scottish Universities on the ScotCHEM Facilities Database.

‌Advice on Scotland's specialist facilities is available from Interface.

Biomedical Sciences Research Complex Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility

Biomedical Sciences Research Complex Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility (not solely School of Chemistry instruments)

  • A Waters LCT ESI mass spectrometer and 2795 HPLC with Photodiode Array Detector This instrument is used for intact protein mass analysis and small molecule analysis by infusion and LC-MS.
  • An ABSciex 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF Analyser This instrument is predominantly used to identify proteins by analysis of proteolytic digests (normally trypsin) by MS and MSMS fragmentation. PTMs and other modifications can also be observed and mapped by interpretation of the MSMS fragmentation patterns. The instrument is also used for intact protein mass analysis and some polymer and small molecule analysis.
  • A Dionex UltiMate 3000 nanoflow HPLC and Probot MALDI target spotter allows LC-MALDI spotting which is analysed using the 4800 instrument.
  • An ABSciex QStar XL, ESI MSMS mass spectrometer and Dionex, UltiMate nanoflow HPLC This MSMS instrument complements the MALDI instrument and is used for the analysis of proteolytic digests of more complex mixtures or weaker samples than the MALDI instrument. Techniques include GeLC analysis (analysis of a series of sections from 1D SDS-PAGs instead of individual bands), and iTRAQ quantitation. PTMs and other modifications can also be mapped. Due to time constraints this instrument is run almost exclusively in nanoLC-ESI MS/Msmode.  However, static nanospray of intact proteins is also possible.
  • Genomic Solutions, ProGest and ProPrep, in-gel digestion robots These instruments carry out automated in-gel proteolytic digests from 1 and 2D SDS-PAG bands and spots.

Website: Mass spectrometry and proteomics facility

Email: Dr C Botting

Tel: 01334 467195

Computational Chemistry

St Andrews hosts two computer clusters, providing 292 cores for high-end
computing in chemistry, as part of the
EaStCHEM research computing facility

Email: Dr Herbert Fruchtl

Tel: 01334 467261/463750

For other matters please contact the School Computing Officer

Email: Mr Fraser Kirk

Tel: 01334 463830

Electron Microscopy

The School's electron microscopy unit houses two high resolution transmission electron microscopes and a Jeol JSM-5600 scanning electron microscope. In both the JEM 2010 TEM and the JSM 5600 SEM, EDX (Energy Dispersive X-rays) systems for analytical elemental analysis are integrated within the microscopes. In the case of the TEM 2010, the ISIS system is installed and with the SEM 5600, the Inca Energy System.

Email: Dr W Zhou

Tel: 01334 467276

Electronics Workshop

Purdie Building Room 104j / 205a

Email: Mr Brian Walker

Tel: 01334 463797

Elemental Analysis

Samples can be sent to Elemental analysis service at London Metropolitan University. The steps to take are as follows:

Fill standard order form requesting elemental analysis, stating number of samples and grant code to be charged. Submit to L. Brannan (Purdie rm 214). Cost is £10 per sample.

Once they generate an order number, note this on the Elemental analysis order form (Word, 38 KB) together with other requested information.

Pack your samples appropriately and post them (with the form) to the address given on the form.

Results will be communicated by email, usually within few days.

Elemental and UV/Vis/IR Spectroscopic Analysis

  • Agilent 7500 series ICP-MS spectrometer Solution: aqueous or organic matrix; Laser Ablation facility.
  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 35 UV/VIS spectrometer: Liquid or solid samples.
  • Jasco V650 UV/Vis - used at present for solid samples
  • Shimadzu IRAffinity 1S IR Spectrometer
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific IC P-OES iCAP 6000 Series

Email: Maria Nowosielska or Dr Stefan Saxin (preferably by email in the first instance)

Tel: 01334 463697

Glass-blowing and Repair Service

High-Throughput Screening

  • Perkin Elmer minitrack (liquid handling robot) housed in a level two hood
  • Perkin Elmer Envision plate reader
  • Wallac Victor plate reader
  • Level II biosafety cabinet.

Email: Dr N J Westwood

Tel: 01334 463816

Mass Spectrometry

The department has two mass spectrometers for service work. A Micromass GCT provides EI and CI at low and high resolution and a Micromass LCT provides a low and high resolution electrospray service.
Mass spectrometry form (PDF, 96 KB).

Email: Mrs Caroline Horsburgh

Tel: 01334 463790

Mechanical Workshop

Purdie Building 104k, 205a

Email: Mr Robert Cathcart

Tel: 01334 463798

Physics Workshop

Jobs can be requested either directly through:

Email: Mr Drew Anderson

Tel: 01334 463191/3276.

Powder X-ray Diffraction

The School currently has six powder X-ray diffractometers. The current facility comprises two PANalytical Empyrean diffractometers, a Philips diffractometer operating in reflection geometry, and three Stoe diffractometers operating in transmission mode (capillary and flat-plate), one of which uses Fe rather than Cu radiation. Please consult the Powder Diffraction Website for important information.

Email: Dr Yuri Andreev

Tel: 01334 463814

Raman Spectroscopy

Perkin Elmer System 2000 (FT)

Email: Prof J.D. Woollins

Tel: 01334 46 3861

Scottish Centre for Interdisciplinary Surface Spectroscopy

The Scottish Centre for Interdisciplinary Surface Spectroscopy (SCISS) is a collaborative centre established in 2008 at the University of St Andrews by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), through an SRDG grant (£1.65M SFC, and £0.95M University of St Andrews). It focuses on real- and momentum-space resolved electron spectroscopies applied to complex materials. 

SCISS brings together 6 research groups from the University of St Andrews to form a cluster of excellence in solid state physics, solid state chemistry, and characterisation of functional materials. Our competences are multidisciplinary and cover: correlated electron physics, heterogeneous catalysis, molecular electronics, density functional theory, graphene, topological phases, supramolecular architectures, and much more.

Our laboratories are located both at the School of Chemistry and the School of Physics and Astronomy, and host a variety of state-of-the-art instruments such as STM/AFM, ARPES, and XPS. More details on our research facilities can be found here. We also make use of national and international synchrotron facilities (e.g. Diamond), as well as national super-computing facilities (e.g. Archer).


Contact: Renald Schaub 

Single Crystal X-ray Diffraction

The Chemical Crystallography currently has the following systems:

  • STANDARD System (St Andrews Robotic Diffractometer consisting of Mo sealed tube X-Ray system with SHINE optic, Saturn CCD and ACTOR Robotic sample changer and XStream LT accessory
  • Rigaku Cu MM007 HF (dual port) high brilliance generator with Dectris Pilatus P100 and P200 detectors, Oxford DTC and Cobra LT accessories.
  • Rigaku FRX  (dual port) high brilliance generator with two Dectris Pilatus P200 detectors, Oxford DTC and Cobra LT accessories.
  • Rigaku SCX Mini, Mo Radiation SHINE Optic with Mercury CCD detector and Oxford DTC LT accessory.

Email: Prof Alex Slawin, (preferably by email in the first instance)

Tel: 01334 467280.

To make a request for an X-ray structure determination, please download the XRay Submission Form (Word, 36 KB).

Solid state NMR spectroscopy

A solid-state NMR service is available with access to 400 MHz HFXY and 600 MHz Bruker Avance III spectrometers. We have implemented a wide range of double- and triple-resonance experiments. In addition to routine experiments, we have fast MAS (up to 40 kHz on the 400 MHz machine and 60 kHz on the 600 MHz machine) and variable-temperature capabilities.

Email: Dr Daniel Dawson

Tel: 01334 462273

For more information on research in solid-state NMR at St Andrews, please refer to Dr Wormald's website and Prof Ashbrook's website

Solution-phase NMR spectroscopy

The department has five nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers for solution NMR. Three instruments operate at 300 MHz for proton observation and the other two at 500 MHz. All the spectrometers have the capability of recording spectra above and below room temperature and the two Bruker Avance 300 spectrometers and the Bruker Avance 500 spectrometer are fully automated with autosampling robots. The Facility is capable of acquiring data on almost any nucleus and has extensive capabilities for triple resonance experiments.

Email: Dr Douglas Philp

Tel: 01334 467264

NMR JEOL GSX Delta 270

Email: Prof J.D. Woollins

Tel: 01334 463861


Stores are located on level 1 of Purdie, Room 134.

Opening hours:

  • 09:00-12:00
  • 14:00-16:00



Tel: 01334 463784

Surface Science

The School currently has the following:

  • Omicron UHV Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)
  • Four Molecular Imaging STM instruments, all of which work in ambient and electrochemical environments and are also capable of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • An additional AFM instrument
  • UHV Nicolet FTIR with polarisation modulation (PM) and ATR attachment
  • An additional Digilab PM-FTIR system with facilities for sample analysis at the liquid-solid interface/electrochemical environments
  • Laser system for Sum Frequency Generation/Second Harmonic Generation (SFG/SHG)
  • UHV x-ray photoemission (XPS)
  • Two UHV High Resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (HREELS) systems
  • UHV LEED/AES/TPD/high pressure cell + Gas chromatograph
  • Tensiometer for contact angle measurements.

Email: Dr Steve Francis

Tel: 01334 462273

Thermal Analysis and Porosimetry

  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry - Netzsch DSC 204 Instrument: Range -150 to 400C; high sensitivity.
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis - Netzsch STA 449C with Mass Spec: TGA/DSC or TGA/DTA under oxidising or reducing atmosphere to 1600C, coupled to a Pfeiffer mass spectrometer (200amu) for evolved gas analysis.
  • Thermal Expansion - Netzsch Dilatometer DIL402C: Oxidising or reducing atmosphere to 1550C.
  • Porosimetry - Hiden IGA porosimeter: Gas and vapour adsorption, BET analysis.
  • Micromeritics Accupyc 1340 series Gas Pycnometer
  • Rheometrics system interface with Stanton Redcroft STA-780 simultaneous TG-DTA
  • Micromeritics 2020 Accelerated Surface Area and Porosimetry System
  • Micromeritics Tristar ii Surface Area and Porosity Instrument with VacPrep 061 Degasser
  • Netzsch Thermogravimetric Analyzer TG 209 F1 (TGA)

Email: Maria Nowosielska or Dr Stefan Saxin (preferably by email in the first instance)

Tel: 01334 463697

Aerial photograph of the School of Chemistry building