[Home] [Schedule] [Classes] [Forensics] [Links] [Personal] [About this Page]

Ch 313W - Instrumental Analysis, S '12

hp_gc-ms.gif (13001 bytes)
Agilent Technologies GC-MS

A study of the use of instrumental methods for qualitative and quantitative analyses of  unknown chemical samples. Important applications to the fields of Chemistry and Biology are emphasized. In addition, since this is a writing intensive course, formal lab write-ups are required in the style of a technical journal article.

PerkinElmer Spectrum Spotlight 200 FTIR Microscope System

PDF files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Dr. Pete Poston
office: NS 110
office hours: M 1, TRF 2, F 11, make an appointment, or just drop by.
web page: http://www.wou.edu/poston
email questions: postonp@wou.edu
Pre-req's Ph 213 or Ph 203 and MTH 251
Textbook Skoog, Holler, & Crouch, "Principles of Instrumental Analysis", 6th ed.
A scientific calculator is mandatory. You must come prepared for every quiz, midterm, and final with your own calculator. I will not loan out calculators, and you are not allowed to borrow one from another student while testing.
Cell Phones and Computers

I have mixed feelings about smart devices - they can be a valuable educational resource, but texting, etc is discouraged. What's the point to coming to class if you aren't paying attention?

However, from time to time I will recommend interesting, educational, and fun app's and will use them in lectures and during the recitation. Feel free to download them at that time.

Cell phones need to be either turned off or placed in vibrate mode during lecture. If I see you using one of these devices during testing, I will consider it cheating and give you a zero.

Lab & Formal Write-ups I will furnish all lab handouts. In addition, purchase some kind of storage device (USB flash drive, etc) for data and reports. Every lab has a handout that must be turned in at the end of the lab (you will receive photocopies so that you can work on the associated writing assignment for that lab). There is no lab notebook.

You will learn how to write in the style of a technical journal article. Technical articles in chemistry commonly contain the following sections: (1) Abstract, (2) Introduction, (3) Experimental, (4) Results & Discussion, (5) Conclusion, and (6) References. You will receive handouts explaining the various sections. As shown in the table below, different labs have different sections as the formal writing component. In lab #9 - GC-MS - you will submit a complete formal writeup containing all sections.

There is also a 10 pt writing exercise that emphasizes style issues and illustrates some of the common writing mistakes that I have observed over the years.

All labs are due one week later at 5 PM (e.g. a Tuesday lab means due next Tuesday at 5 PM). The only exception is if there is a Ch 313 exam or university holiday on the due day, in which case the lab is due at 5 PM the next day the university is open.

All writing assignments must be written in Microsoft Word and submitted digitally via email. I then make editorial comments and email it back to you so you can see the changes.

When I give a grade on writing assignments, I give a subjective grade (A+ through F) where the point values are: A+ = 100%, A = 95%, B = 85%, C = 75%, D = 65%, F = write over

Here are the labs that have a formal writing component (see table below for dates):

Lab #1 - Monochromators - Abstract
Lab #2 - UV-Vis - Introduction
Lab #4 - Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy - Experimental Section
Lab #5 - Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy - Results & Discussion, Conclusions
Lab #7 - Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry - complete formal lab including references

The point breakdown for each lab is -

Formal Writing
Apr 17 Lab #1 - Monochromators 5 pts Abstract - 5 pts 10 pts
Apr 24 Lab #2 - UV-Vis 5 pts Introduction - 10 pts 15 pts
May 1 Lab #3 - Fluorescence 5 pts


5 pts
May 8 Lab #4 - Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy 5 pts Experimental - 5 pts 10 pts
May 15 Lab #5 - Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy 5 pts Results & Discussion, Conclusions - 10 pts 15 pts
May 22 Lab #6 - Raman Spectroscopy 5 pts


5 pts
May 29 Lab #7 - Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry 5 pts complete formal lab writeup - 30 pts 35 pts
Jun 5 Lab #8 - High Performance Liquid Chromatography 5 pts   5 pts
TOTAL   100 pts
Late Labs

Labs must be turned in on time or else chaos ensues! The following "late fees" will be assessed starting at 8 AM the day following the due date:

1 day late = 1/4 off, 2 days late = 1/2 off, 3 days late = 3/4 off

You will receive a zero for all labs more than 3 days late. No labs will be accepted past the last day of classes.

SInce this is a writing-intensive course, failure to hand in any lab handout or writing assignment will result in failing the course.


There will be eight 10 min quizzes given at the beginning of each lab related to the lab topic that week.

Each quiz is worth 10 pts, and the questions are usually a reworked homework problem. Links to homework answer keys are available online as Adobe PDF files and can be found in the Syllabus section below.

Your lowest quiz score will be dropped. Since the lowest quiz score is being dropped anyway, there will be no make-ups on quizzes. If you miss three quizzes total (including the one you drop), then you fail the class.


There are no make-up exams except for University sanctioned events, in which case please see me a week in advance for an alternative testing time. In the event of an unexpected emergency, then -

Midterms: Family-related emergencies or deaths must be communicated through the Office of Student Affairs (838-8221) and broadcast to all your professors. Illnesses must be accompanied by a note from your doctor. Under these conditions there are two options for replacing the midterm score:

(1) If the exam hasn't been handed back to the class yet, then arrange a make-up time with me.

(2) If the exam has already been returned to the class, then I will replace the missing hour exam score by taking 30% of the percentage you receive on the final exam (since it is a 200 pt exam) and 40% of the other midterm score. This option can obviously only be used once.

Final exam: University policy states that the final exam time will not be moved for any reason. Please do not ask to take the final early because you want to leave for vacation early! There are humanitarian exceptions - see me if there's a problem. Again, if you miss the final and follow the same procedure listed above under midterms, then I will give you an incomplete and you can take the final in a future class section to make it up (see Incompletes section below).

Homework Assigned, key posted, but not graded. I guarantee one or two will appear on exams, however!
200 pts (33%) two 100 pt hour exams (Thur, Apr 26 and Thur, May 24)
200 pts (33%) 200 pt comprehensive final (Tue, Jun 12, 8-10 AM)
100 pts (17%) 8 quizzes @ 10 pts each - score scaled to 100 pts total
100 pts (17%) labs and written reports (100 pts), writing exercise (10 pts), total scaled to 100 pts.
600 pts total

Grading will be no harder than 90% A, 80% B, 70% C, 60% D, < 60% F

Incompletes Incompletes are given under special circumstances such as medical reasons, family emergencies, etc. In order to receive an incomplete, you must sign a contract with me outlining the steps you must take to finish the course. Usually this means there will be a time deadline for completion of the course.
Students with Disabilities It is your right to request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For questions, call the Office for Disability Services at (503) 838-8250 V/TTY, or email them at ods@wou.edu.


Click here for the reading and Homework Problems for the 5th ed. of the Text

Dates (Tue) Chapter Topic/Links Lab and Writing Assignments
Apr 3

Ch 1: p.2-3, p. 17-22
Ch 6: p. 132-142, 152-159

Problem Set 1:
Ch 1: 12de
Ch 6:
1e-j, 5-7

Intro, Statistics & Detection Limits

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Technical Writing Guidelines
  • Extra Lecture Time
Apr 10

Ch 7: p. 164-166, 175-202

Problem Set 2:
Ch 7: 1, 12-14, 19

Instruments in Optical Spectroscopy

Extra lecture time

Lab #0:
Interfacing instruments using LabView

Apr 17

Ch 13: p. 336-343, 346-362
Ch 14: p. 367-370

Problem Set 3:
Ch 13: 1d, 2a, 5, 8ab, 13abdfgh, 14ab, 15, 20abcf
Ch 14: 11ab, 12b

Introduction to Absorption Spectroscopy

Applications of UV-Vis Spectroscopy

LAB #1: Monochromators

Apr 24*

Ch 15: p. 399-418
Ch 1: p. 13-17

Problem Set 4:
Ch 15: 1-4, 8

EXAM #1 - Thur Apr 26

Fluorescence & Phosphorescence

LAB #2: UV-Vis

May 1

Ch 8: p. 215-223
Ch 9: p. 230-248
Ch 10: p. 254-269
Ch 12: p. 303-319

Problem Set 5:
Ch 8: 8
Ch 9: 1a-f,i-j,l, 3, 5, 8, 11, 13, 14
Ch 10: 2, 4
Ch 12: 1, 2d, 9c

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

ICP Spectroscopy

Atomic X-Ray Spectrometry

LAB #3: Fluorescence

May 8

Ch 7: p. 204-211
Ch 16:
p. 430-444
Ch 17: p. 455-472
Ch 18: p. 481-492

Problem Set 6:
Ch 16: 1, 3, 6, 7,8,9a
Ch 18: 1-2, 6, 9a

Infrared Spectroscopy, FT-IR and applications

Raman Spectroscopy

LAB #4: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

May 15

Ch 19: p. 498-519, 521-532
Ch 20: p. 550-573

Problem Set 7: (©Thompson Brooks Cole)
Ch 19: 3, 5, 6, 7ab, 23, 25, 28, 33
Ch 20: 2, 10, 17, 18

NMR Spectroscopy

Mass Spectrometry

LAB #5: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
(Results & Discussion, Conclusions)

May 22 ---

EXAM #2 - Thur May 24

Mass Spectrometry cont'd

LAB #6: Raman Spectroscopy

May 29

Ch 26: p. 762-781
Ch 27: p. 788-807

Problem Set 8: (©Thompson Brooks Cole)
Ch 26: 1, 3, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15a, 16ab
Ch 27:
3, 11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 27cdef

No class Thur, May 31st for Academic Excellence Showcase

Intro to Chromatography

Gas Chromatography

LAB #7: Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
(complete formal lab writeup)

Jun 5

Ch 28: p. 816-837
Ch 30: p. 867-877

Problem Set 9: (©Thompson Brooks Cole)
Ch 28: 4, 7abdej, 10, 11



LAB #8: High Performance Liquid Chromatography

*Last day to drop without being responsible for a grade is Friday, Apr 27

LAB DESCRIPTIONS - all labs involve heavy use of spreadsheets and word processors for data analysis and reports.

Lab #1 - Monochromators

Illustration of the basic practical use of monochromators. Topics such as holographic diffraction gratings, reciprocal linear dispersion, photomultiplier tubes, lamp spectral output, and resolution.
Lab #2 - UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Use of the Hitachi U2000 dual beam spectrophotometer. Production of a calibration curve and determination of the concentration of an unknown. Spectral analysis and solvent effect on absorption spectrum of several organic compounds.
Lab #3 - Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Quantitation of quinine in tonic water
Lab #4 - Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Obtain a working curve for Pb and calculate a limit of detection. Also determine the concentration of an unknown by the method of standard additions.
Lab #5 - Fourier Transform Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy

Instrument configuration of a Perkin-Elmer FTIR. Obtain spectra of wide variety of functional groups using neat solutions, reference cells, and KBr pellets. Calculation of force constants for representative functional groups.
Lab #6- Raman Spectroscopy

Introduction to the basics of Raman Spectroscopy through the acquisition of spectra and interpretation of characteristic bands; comparison to IR spectra to illustrate complementarity.
Lab #7 - Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

Sample extraction using Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME). Identification of herbicides and pesticides. Control of separation by adjusting flow rate, temperature, etc.
Lab #8 - High Performance Liquid Chromatography

Separation of components in regular, diet, and caffeine-free sodas. Identification of peaks corresponding to caffeine, sodium benzoate, aspartame, and ascorbic acid. Calculation of plate heights, capacity factors, selectivity, and resolution.

Directory | Home | Site index | Help | Search WOU
Copyright © 2002 Western Oregon University. Site guidelines.
Send comments and questions about this page to: Pete Poston

This page last modified on Wed Mar 26 2008 16:09:35 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)