The Texas A&M Chemistry Department offers the advantages of a large, well-equipped and well-funded department with small to moderate-sized research groups working in a highly interactive and exciting environment to educate students and probe the frontiers of chemical and biochemical research.
The chemistry complex consists of five adjacent and interconnected buildings constructed in the 1970s and 1980s or completely renovated and modernized in the early 1990s.The West Wing, originally built in 1932 and renovated in 1993, has been designated a Texas Historic Building. This structure combines a comfortable working environment with the elegance of an earlier architectural style. To take advantage of specialized facilities, several research groups are located in the Cyclotron Institute, which is located near the chemistry complex. This unique facility is used to study nuclear reactions, fission dynamics, molecular dissociation, and radioactive beams.
A large number of modern instruments are used by graduate students in the department. Many of these are maintained in shared-use facilities by staff personnel. Other instruments are operated by individual research groups. The NMR facility has six superconducting spectrometers, including two new 500-MHZ systems. A training course prepares students for hands-on operation of these instruments. It is also possible to have spectra acquired by the staff. There is also a 300-MHZ solid state NMR facility. Two additional solution state NMR's are operated by individual research groups.
The mass spectrometry facility has been greatly improved by the addition of new staff and capabilities. Experiments such as exact mass, IC and FAB are available routinely. A walk-up GC-MS is available for student use. Three research groups maintain a number of other MS instruments, including FT-ICR and time-of-flight systems.
The chemistry supercomputer facility includes a 192-core SGI Altix 450 and an SGI Origin 300. The Chemistry Department is also a heavy user of Texas A&M's Cray YM2P supercomputer. Several hundred personal computers and peripherals are located in individual research groups, and more powerful work stations have been acquired for molecular visualization and simulation.
The X-ray diffraction facility is fully equipped and staffed for crystallographic structure determination and powder diffraction measurements. Several individual research groups maintain one or more diffractometers.
A departmental XPS surface science facility is provided, and many other surface science measurement capabilities are located in various research groups. Other specialized facilities provide elemental analysis, including neutron activation. The Electron Microscopy Center has three scanning EM's, two TEMs, and various optical microscopes. STMs are located in several research groups.
Many students take advantage of the outstanding service shops to design and build customized instruments. Examples of recent projects include vacuum system components for surface science and mass spectrometry, solid state NMR probes and laser-based experiments. The specialists in the machine shop can fabricate essentially anything out of stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and high-performance plastics.
The scientific glass blowing shop is available to fabricate custom glassware of all types. Additional capabilities include glass lathe work, glass-to-metal seals, and silvering. The department also maintains an electronics shop for the maintenance and repair of all types of laboratory electronic instrumentation. The Chemistry Department has approximately 70 support staff, including Ph.D. scientists who maintain the instruments and shops.