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The Chemistry Department is home to various state-of-the-art instruments, both within research groups (especially in the case of liquid chromatography) and as part of dedicated units. Although housed within the department, these dedicated units form part of the Central Analytical Facility (CAF) of Stellenbosch University. CAF was established to independently manage both the daily operation and maintenance of large equipment items with a broad user base. Toward this goal, it employs Applications Specialists who are involved in every aspect of the day-to-day operation of these instruments, and who assist users in obtaining the best scientific results possible.

For more about CAF, please visit their webpage.

CAF-run facilities which are housed under the auspices of the Chemistry Department are:

the Crystal Characterisation unit, which offers access to
the following instruments:
  • X-ray Diffractometer
    Bruker-Nonius SMART Apex equipped with a Mo fine-focus sealed tube and a 0.5 mm MonoCap collimator
  • X-ray Powder Diffractometer
    Bruker D8 equipped with a Cu sealed tube
  • Thermogravimetric Analyser (TA Instruments)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimeter (TA Instruments)
  • Gravimetric Sorption Analyser (Hiden Isochema)

(Visit the unit’s own webpage for more information)


the NMR unit, which is currently home to three
(soon to be four!) instruments:
  • Varian Inova 600 MHz NMR spectrometer
    equipped with three channels, Z gradients and various indirect detection, broadband and triple resonance probes
  • Varian Inova 400 MHz NMR spectrometer
    equipped with two channels, Z gradients and a broadband and dual broadband probe
  • Varian VXR 300 MHz “R2-D2” NMR spectrometer
    equipped with two channels, Z gradients and a broadband and dual broadband probe
  • a GC-MS facility, which operates as part of the Mass Spectrometry Unit.
In addition to the facilities run by CAF, the department also has excellent computational equipment for molecular modeling and computational chemistry. Smaller lab equipment, such as HPLCs, IRs etc. are housed within the various research groups.

The Chemistry Department also has an in-house glassblower, who services the entire university’s glassblowing requirements.
Mr Malcolm Mclean
Room 3004, Inorganic Chemistry Building (download campus map)
Tel:+27 (0)21 808-3337 | Email