Shelby Hall's foyer

Inside Shelby Hall, home of the UA Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry’s labs, classrooms, and offices are well equipped to support our teaching, research, and service activities, with equipment, instrumentation, and other resources that are continuously updated and supported by highly trained faculty and staff. All of our primary facilities are located near the core of the University of Alabama campus, just a short walk or brief shuttle ride from residence halls, the student center, dining facilities, and parking.

Shelby Hall

computational chemistry lab

The UA Department of Chemistry’s computational chemistry lab

Completed in 2004, Shelby Hall is our department’s home. The 200,000-square-foot structure houses some of the most advanced research facilities in the nation. Shelby’s features include

  • 70 research labs
  • 5 teaching labs
  • 3 theater-style lecture halls
  • 40 offices for faculty and professional staff
  • 80 offices for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows
  • glassblowing shop

Science and Engineering Complex

Connected to Shelby Hall at Shelby’s southwest corner, the 212,000-square-foot Science and Engineering Complex (commonly abbreviated to “SEC”) contains interdisciplinary science classrooms, laboratories, support facilities, and a convenience store. Freshman chemistry labs meet here.

Research Instrumentation

The Department of Chemistry’s instrumentation is updated and expanded continuously to support our faculty members’ and students’ teaching and research. In addition to the major instrumentation listed here, a variety of other equipment — such as chromatographs, spectrometers, electrochemistry apparatus, and organic/biochemical synthesizers — is available to individual research groups.

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR): This 1,300-square-foot laboratory features four state-of-the-art research instruments:

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR): The department’s NMR facility houses regularly upgraded Bruker spectrometers operating at 600, 500, and 360 MHz. Our NMR instruments are capable of observing all magnetic nuclei between 103Rh and 1H, and current applications involve the more common 1H, 2H, 13C, 15N, 17O, 19F and 31P nuclides as well as studies of 11B, 23Na, 27Al, 29Si, 75As, 77Se, 125Te and 205Tl nuclides. The instruments are configured to employ pulse-sequences for multi-dimensional NMR experiments. The facility is maintained by a full-time PhD spectroscopist, Dr. Ken Belmore, who is available for consultation and assistance.  NMR resources page.

Mass spectrometry: The department possesses two magnetic sector instruments, a VG AutoSpec and a Waters Autospec NT. The VG instrument is equipped for electron ionization (EI) with solid probe insertion. The high-resolution Waters Autospec NT is equipped with an EI source, using GC (HP6890) inlet or solid probe insertion for sample introduction; it is capable of performing elemental analysis for small organic compounds.

X-ray diffraction: We maintain a facility for determining crystal structures of compounds of interest to members of the department. Use of the our Siemens CCD SMART (Area Detector) and Enraf-Nonius CAD-4 computer-controlled X-ray diffractometers permits the structural solution of approximately 500 crystal structures per year.

Surface characterization: Housed in the Bevill Building northeast of Shelby Hall is a Kratos Axis 165 SAM/XPS system used by the chemistry department and the Materials for Information Technology (MINT) program. The system is a multi-technique surface science tool capable of performing scanning electron microscopy and Auger mapping of surfaces on the nanometer scale. The system, which consists of an ultrahigh vacuum (<10-9 Torr) sample transfer and analysis chambers onto which the analytical equipment is mounted, also has an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy attachment that allows identification of the surface composition and the oxidation states of many elements.

Central Analytical Facility: Located primarily in the Bevill Building, this University of Alabama facility houses a variety of instruments used by chemistry department and Materials for Information Technology researchers, including transmission electron and scanning electron microscopes. More information can be found at the CAF web site.

Research Support Services

College of Arts & Sciences Instrument Shop:  The A&S Instrument Shop builds, modifies and repairs scientific instruments that are used in the sciences.

College of Arts & Sciences Electronic Shop:  The A&S Electronic Shop provides builds, modifies, and repairs electronic components used by researchers in the sciences.

College of Arts & Sciences Electronic Shop:  The A&S Glassblowing Shop located in Shelby Hall provides design, construction, and repair services of all glass apparatus for researchers at The University of Alabama.  The Glassblowing Shop is managed by Rick Smith.

Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

Just south of Shelby Hall and the SEC is the Rodgers Library, which offers more than 220,000 books and bound journals plus access to numerous specialized databases and electronic journals. The library is a popular place to study, with a silent zone on the second floor, plus individual and group study rooms that accommodate up to 12 students and feature wireless access and, in some rooms, whiteboards and smartboards. The Scholars’ Station serves as a gathering place for students to learn, create, and discover, as well as a place for teaching faculty and students how to use special databases, and other electronic resources. For more information about the library, visit www.lib.ua.edu/libraries/rodgers.