Chemistry Facilities

The Roanoke College Chemistry Department has an outstanding physical facility, from newly remodeled instructional laboratories to a wide range of modern instrumentation. Equally important is the access that our students have to these facilities. Students get hands on experience with our instruments from their first course through their last course. Our students probably use more instruments in their first year of general chemistry than most undergraduate science majors get to use in four years of coursework.

400 MHz NMR

Our 400 MHz NMR is the most powerful tool in all of chemistry. It can determine the structure of any organic compound.


Our GC/MS (New in 2008) is the best tool for analyzing mixtures, the most sensitive detector for low concentrations, and the second best tool for identifying molecules. All in one instrument!

Thermal cycler for PCR

A thermal cycler for PCR is a common biochemical tool.


Our HPLC is used to separate mixtures of non-volatile compounds. It is heavily used for biochemical samples.

Fluorescence spectrometer

Our fluorescence spectrometer is used to detect trace levels of fluorescent molecules, down to 0.000000000001 moles/liter.

Carbon dioxide incubator

This carbon dioxide incubator is used to culture mammalian cells.

Atomic spectroscopy

Atomic spectroscopy measures metals in environmental samples at the ppm and ppb levels.

Diode array UV-visible spectrometer

Our diode array UV-visible spectrometer can collect a complete spectrum in just a few seconds.

UV-Vis spectra

This plate reader obtains UV-Vis spectra from wellplates containing 96 different samples!

Gas chromatography

Gas chromatography is used to separate mixtures of volatile compounds.

-80 degree C freezer

Our -80 degree C freezer keeps delicate biochemicals from decomposing.

Adjustable micropipettes

Adjustable micropipettes deliver tiny amounts of solutions in biochemistry experiments, as small as 0.000001 liter.

Portable autoclave

Our portable autoclave saves our biochemists lots of time, due to its convenient location.

Refrigerated cabinet

This refrigerated cabinet is for temperature sensitive experiments.

Biosafety hood

Biosafety hood for cell culture work.

Dr. Sarisky and the incubator/shaker apparatus

Dr. Sarisky and the incubator/shaker apparatus.

Refrigerated centrifuge

Our refrigerated centrifuge is mainly used in biochemistry.

Student using FSCV

FSCV (Fast-Scan Voltammetry) is an electrochemical technique that allows for the nonomolar-level detection of several species including catecholamine neurotransmitters

A key factor to remember as you look at these photos of some of our instrumentation - our undergraduate students get to use these instruments personally, and often!