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Ch 471 - Chemical Instrumentation, W'07

Advanced topics in chemical instrumentation including programming in LabView, Analog to Digital converters, Digital I/O, Timers, Computer Interfacing using RS-232 and GPIB communication protocols, Noise Reduction strategies, and Fourier Techniques such as Apodization. At the end of the class there are two special projects to apply this knowledge: (1) a Flash Photolysis experiment (lifetime measurement of an excited state), and (2) construction of a computer-controlled automatic titrator.

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Instructor Dr. Pete Poston
office: NS 110
phone: 503-838-8218
office hours: MWF 11, MF 1, make an appointment, or just drop by.
email questions: postonp@wou.edu
Web page: http://www.wou.edu/poston
Pre-req's Ch 313 - Instrumental Methods of Analysis or permission of instructor
Textbook No text - I will assign reading from a variety of sources including the text used in Ch 313, "Principles of Instrumental Analysis", Skoog, Holler, & Nieman, 5th ed, and "Laboratory Automation Using the IBM PC", Gates & Becker (out of print so I will furnish handouts).
Lab I will furnish handouts. We will be using a program called LabView 7 Express for all of our computer interfacing and data acquisition.
Exam Policies

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 150 pt exam) and 70% 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. Please do not ask to take the final early because you want to leave for vacation early! There are exceptions such as starting a new job, etc. 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).

Incompletes Incompletes are given under special circumstances such as medical reasons, family emergencies, etc. In order to receive an incomplete, the University requires you to 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 before your grade reverts to an "F".
200 pts (40%) 2 hour exams (Mon, Feb 5 and Mon, Feb 26)
150 pts (30%) comprehensive final (Mon, Mar 19, 8-12 in NS 016)
150 pts (30%) 10 labs @ 15 pts each
500 pts total

Grading will be no harder than A=90%, B=80%, C=70%, D=60%, F < 60%
Typically there is some curving depending on the circumstances (e.g. C >65%)

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.

Academic Dishonesty

The Code of Student Responsibility defines cheating as "intentional use, or attempted use of artifice, deception, fraud, and/or misrepresentation of one's academic work". For this class, which involves taking exams, quizzes, and perform labs, cheating is usually but not limited to talking or writing to other students, using crib sheets (prepared notes), or looking at another student's paper. The penalty for cheating will be a zero grade for the test or quiz or assignment in question.

Students have the right to appeal this action as described in the Code of Student Responsibility

(Will be updated as the term progresses)

Week of
Lecture Topic Lab
Jan 8

Reading (Skoog):
Ch 2: p. 22-26, 30-32, 35-36, 38-41
Ch 3: p. 56-57, 58, 64-66
Ch 4: p. 74-76, p. 80-82, p. 83-88

Reading (Gates & Becker):
Ch 1:
p. 6-10
Ch 2:
p. 11-17
Ch 3:
p. 27-43

Problems (Skoog):
Ch 2: 1(a)(b), 16(a)
Ch 3: 1(a)(d)(e), 11
Ch 4: 1-3

More Problems (Skoog):
Ch 4:
4, 5, 6, 7

Basic Electronics, Operational Amplifier Circuits, Digital to Analog Converters, Analog to Digital Converters

LAB #1:
Analog Electronics

Jan 15

Reading (Skoog):
Ch 5: p. 99-113
Ch 13: p. 306-310

Reading (Gates & Becker):
Ch 4:
p. 49-85

"Smoothing and Differentiation of Data by Simplified Least Squares Procedures", Anal. Chem., Vol. 36, No. 8, p. 1627-1639

"Comments on Smoothing and Differentiation of Data by Simplified Least Squares Procedures", Anal. Chem., Vol. 44, No. 11, p. 1906-1909

"Frequency Response Plots for Savitzky-Golay Filter Functions", Anal. Chem., Vol. 49, No. 2, p. 351-352

"The Scientist and Engineer's Guide to Digital Signal Processing"
by Steven W. Smith, Ph.D. - free online version

Problems (Skoog):
Ch 5: 6, 8, 9

More Problems (Skoog):
Ch 5:
2ac, 4, 7, 10

Mon Jan 15 - Martin Luther King Day
Noise and Software Filtering
Effect of Noise on Spectrophotometric Analyses

LAB #2:
A/D & D/A

Jan 22

"Fourier Transforms for Chemists, Part III", Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 64, No. 12, p. A308-A313

Fourier Transforms in Chemistry

LAB #3:
Noise Reduction

Jan 29

"Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy", Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 63, No. 1, p. A5-A10


Convolution - application to Apodization in FTIR

LAB #4:
LabView: Programming
A/D Boards

Feb 5
Reading (Gates & Becker):
Ch 7:
p. 119-126

Serial Interfacing - RS-232
Correlation Techniques - applications to Lock-in Amplifiers and Boxcar Integrators
Fri Feb 9 - EXAM #1

LAB #5:
Using RS-232 to interface the Hitachi U2000 UV-Vis Spectrometer

Feb 12*

Reading (Skoog):
Ch 7: p. 147-154

Additional Reading:
"The Laser Guidebook", Jeff Hecht, McGraw-Hill, 1986, Ch 7, 8, 20

Reading (J Chem Ed):
"Diode Lasers", Baumann et al, J of Chem Educ, Vol 69, No 2, p. 89-95, 1992

Web Resources :


LAB #7:
Digital Electronics
Digital I/O

Feb 19

Reading (Gates & Becker):
Ch 6:
p. 98-113

Additional reading:
"Learning With LabVIEW 7 Express", Robert H. Bishop, Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2004, Ch 10

Parallel Interfacing - GPIB

LAB #8:
Using a GPIB board to interface with the Hitachi HPLC

Feb 26

Reading (J Chem Ed):

"Freezing Atoms in Motion...", J. Spencer Baskin and Ahmed Zewail, J of Chem Educ, Vol 78, No 6, p. 737-751, 2001

"The Poisson Distribution and Single-Molecule Spectroscopy", Elizabeth J. Harbron and Paul F. Barbara, J of Chem Educ, Vol 79, No 2, p. 211-213, 2002

Web Resources :

  • Laser Fluorescence and Deconvolution
  • Femtochemistry
LAB #10:
Computer-Controlled Automated
Mar 5

Web Resources :

Single Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy

Poisson Statistics:
Lab experiment by Dr. James E. Parks, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Mar 12

Web Resources :


Topics in Optics


*Last day to drop without being responsible for a grade is Fri, Feb 16

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