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Lake Land College’s chemistry lab installs 60MHz FT-NMR spectrometer

Posted on March 22, 2019

In early February, The Lake Land College Math and Science Division welcomed its newest and most advanced instrumentation to its chemistry lab, a 60MHz FT-NMR spectrometer.

“This instrumentation is an MRI for molecules,” Chemistry Instructor Greg Capitosti explained. “Just as an MRI would scan the tissues in your body, this scans hydrogen, carbon and fluorine.”

Lake Land College is at an advantage with the new instrumentation Capitosti said, “Even at a four-year university, students wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with advanced technology like this until their junior or senior year. There’s definitely something to offer here at Lake Land College.”

Capitosti explained how students began utilizing the equipment right away, “Each spring, students must complete a capstone project and the equipment plays a significant role in that project. Actually, the entire curriculum is designed around the equipment.”

In early February, The Lake Land College Math and Science Division welcomed its newest and most advanced instrumentation to its chemistry lab, a 60MHz FT-NMR spectrometer. Pictured from left to right: organic chemistry students Tilda Carlelycke of Sweden and Skyler Birch of Bethany complete labs with the spectrometer.

“The students learn by theory during the first month of the semester. After that, they perform experiments utilizing the equipment,” Capitosti said. “It is student friendly and great for teaching labs.”

About 15 years ago, Lake Land College purchased an FT-NMR spectrometer from the company Anasazi Instruments. Although advanced at the time, it only had the capability to scan hydrogen and carbon. With the new instrumentation, fluorine can now be scanned allowing the students to work with molecules in a capacity that was not previously available.

“When we first purchased the equipment, Lake Land College was one of two community colleges in the state of Illinois to have something like this for students to work with,” Capitosti said.

The instrumentation regularly costs $130,000. However, Lake Land College was able to purchase the equipment for $30,000.

“We learned about the discount at the American Chemical Society Conference last spring. Having been customers for almost 15 years, we were discounted $100,000,” Capitosti said.

With a lifespan of at least 10 – 15 years, it seems to be well worth the investment.

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