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Modernization of University General Chemistry Laboratory Programs


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The modernization of a universities General Chemistry laboratory program can be a daunting and yet necessary  task. This is especially true when you have 2000+ students taking General Chemistry every year.  The University of Tennessee, Knoxville decided it was time to modernize their General Chemistry Lab Program for them to remain competitive. They knew that Electronic Data Collection Technology needed part of this process, and needed to be integrated into the labs. I am happy to say The University of Tennessee, Knoxville decided MeasureNet's Electronic Data Collection System was the technology selected in the redesign of their General Chemistry Laboratory Program. 

“The laboratory makeover not only benefits the first-year students, but will help improve their preparation and success as they go on to take upper-level chemistry courses, “

Al Hazari, Director of Undergraduate Laboratories. 

Miami University's Unique Application of MeasureNet Published in The Journal of Chemical Education


Flow Injection Analysis and Liquid Chromatography for Multifunctional Chemical Analysis (MCA) Systems

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, United States
J. Chem. Educ.201390 (4), pp 500–505
DOI: 10.1021/ed300340x
Publication Date (Web): March 15, 2013
Copyright © 2013 The American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

The large class sizes of first-year chemistry labs makes it challenging to provide students with hands-on access to instrumentation because the number of students typically far exceeds the number of research-grade instruments available to collect data. Multifunctional chemical analysis (MCA) systems provide a viable alternative for large-scale instruction while supporting a hands-on approach to more advanced instrumentation. This study describes how the capabilities of MCA systems are extended to introduce liquid chromatography (LC) and flow injection analysis (FIA) in undergraduate laboratories. A semi-micro plastic cuvette with a Teflon tubing insert is fashioned as the flow cell for a MCA absorbance–fluorescence detector. Two MCA systems, Vernier and MeasureNet, are used in two unique experiments demonstrating the detection of salicylate in aspirin tablets by FIA and the LC separation of a mixture of riboflavin and fluorescein. Both instruments, composed of a syringe pump, T-injection valve, and the MCA detector, operated in the kinetic mode, are rugged and inexpensive permitting student construction, if desired.

MeasureNet's New Features - Part 5 - Real-Time Data to the Cloud & Remote Monitor Experiments


MeasureNet has added some new features to our LabKonnect™ data storage site and PC software that provide you and your students with even greater flexibility than before.

  • Automatic Data Files Graphing
  • Online Lab Report Storage/Submission
  • Extended Experiments with Remote Monitoring

Automatic Data Files Graphing

With the rollout of the new LabKonnect features, we decided to make it easier to get a quick idea of your data sets.  Users can graph any data set uploaded through the MeasureNet Lab PC software right on the LabKonnect site.  


Online Lab Report Storage/Submission

MeasureNet LabKonnect now allows students to upload their lab reports and store them on the cloud.  Instructors can download the lab reports, grade them, and then upload the graded lab report to the student's account for instant feedback with no wasted paper.


(Lab Report View)


(Lab Report Upload)

Extended Experiments with Remote Monitoring

One of MeasureNet's most exciting new features is the ability to conduct extended length experiments and remotely monitor them from the web.  If you have an experiment with a slow reaction that needs to be monitored over several days, you can go home and have fun while still collecting your data.  MeasureNet will even send you a text message if your experiment goes out of bounds.  That way you can come in and fix your setup without losing days worth of valuable data. 

You can set up your alert conditions online, and then start the extended experiment with the Lab PC Software.  After that, you just let your experiment run until you choose to stop it.

This capability is ideal for research projects that require the monitoring of experiments that run for days or weeks. The William Heineman research group at the University of Cincinnati has been using this feature for a number of their research projects.


(Setting Up Extended Experiment in Lab PC Software)

If you want to check up on your data and see how it's trending, you can log in and graph or download the data that has been collected so far. You can also leave comments on each of the extended experiment files in case you want to do multiple runs.  


(View and Graph Extended Experiment Files)


(Mange Extended Experiment Files)

MeasureNet's New Features - Part 4 - New Chemistry Experiments and Probes


The folks here at MeasureNet have been hard at work integrating new probes into our system and creating new experiments.  In this blog entry we'll be introducing the following new experiments and probes:

  • Thermometric Titrations
  • Conductivity Probe & Experiment Options
  • Colorimetric Titration  Hardware

Thermometric Titrations

The newest software integrates the drop counter and temperature probe and now has the capability to conduct experiments with Temperature vs Drops.  This allows users to conduct Thermometric Titrations.  

Thermometric Titration Plot resized 600

MeasureNet Thermometric Titration 1 resized 600

Conductivity Probe & Experiment Options

 MeasureNet now offers a 4 range high resolution conductivity probe.  MeasureNet provides users the ability to conduct experiments with Conductivity vs Time and use the drop counter for Conductivity vs Volume for Conductometric Titrations.  

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Colorimetric Titration Hardware

MeasureNet systems now have the ability to conduct colorimetric, Fluorometric, turbidometric and chemiluminescent titration experiments. When ordering colorimeters, customers can specify if they would like them customized for photometric titrations.  The kit includes a colorimeter, a base stand, a pump with power supply, and custom-made flow cell that pair with the MeasureNet colorimeter and drop counter.  


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MeasureNet's New Features - Part 3 - New Chemistry Experiments and Probes 1


The folks here at MeasureNet have been hard at work integrating new probes into our system and creating new experiments.  In this blog entry we'll be introducing the following new experiments and probes:

  • Dual Probe Experiments (Pressure, Temperature & Voltgage)
  • Thermocouple Temperature Probe
  • Melting point Experiment

Dual Probe Experiments

MeasureNet now has the ability to collect data from 2 of the same probe if using the voltage, pressure, or temperature probes.  New experiment options have been added to each probe's menu to allow dual probe collection.  In order to use the dual probe option, customers will need the MeasureNet dual probe adaptor (pictured below).


Thermocouple Temperature Probe

MeasureNet also offers a thermocouple type J temperature probe now for applications that fall outside the range of our standard temperature probe.  The new thermocouple probe has a temperature range from -180C to +475C.  


Mel-Temp Switch & Experiment

Along with the thermocouple probe, MeasureNet now offers a solution that will make Melt Temp experiments easier.  During a Mel-Temp experiment, you can use the Melt Temp Switch to keep track of a small range of temperatures when your compound nears melting temperature.  You can then use print code 400 to print an overall temperature graph along with a graph that focuses on the range where the sample started to melt.  



Make sure to keep a lookout for the next set of probes and experiments.  We still have more to show.

MeasureNet's New Features - Part 2 - Dual UV/VIS Spectrometer Capability





The newest MeasureNet software introduces Dual UV/VIS Spectroscopy.  Customers now have the ability to use two networked spectrometers simultaneously.

Customers will need to ensure they have the following order to use two NetSpec spectrometers on the same MeasureNet MCAN (Multifunctional Chemical Analysis Network):

  • MeasureNet Lab PC Software v 9.0.0 and above
  • MeasureNet Unity Controller Software v 3.0.0 and above
  • MeasureNet Unity Controller equipped with a dual port network card.
  • 2 NetSpec UV/VIS Spectrometers

All new MeasureNet Controllers sold since January 2012 have had a dual MeasureNet network port included by default.  If you're not sure which type of network card is installed in your controller, you can easily figure it out by looking at the back of it.  

Single network


Dual network


If you do not have a Dual network card, you can contact MeasureNet to discuss upgrade options for your Unity Controller.

One UV/VIS spectrometer will reside on your existing network, and the second spectrometer will hook up to the port with the black cover over it. Once connected, you can use both spectrometers in the same fashion as you would a single Netspec UV/VIS Spectrometer.

The Lab PC Software now has status indicators for both spectrometers along with settings menu options for each NetSpec Spectrometer.  

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MeasureNet's New Features - A Multi-Part Series



MeasureNet is soon to release the newest versions of our software lineup, and we've decided to give you an in-depth tour into our latest features and upgrades in a five part series.

Look out for our blog posts as we give you a rundown of all our new features.

    • Part 1 - A Better User Experience
    • Part 2 - Dual Spectroscopy
    • Part 3 - New Chemistry Experiments & Probes 1
    • Part 4 - New Chemistry Experiments & Probes 2
    • Part 5 - Real-Time Data to the Cloud & Remote Monitor  Experiments


Part 1 outlines all the new user inter interface elements that make the MeasureNet software even easier to use than before. 

Part 2 details the options with our new Dual Spectroscopy features, which now allows you to have two networked spectrometers for each of your network.

Parts 3 & 4 cover all of our new probes and experiments available:

    • Melting Point Temperature Experiment
    • Dual Probe Experiments for Pressure, Voltage, and Temperature.
    • Thermometric Titration Experiment
    • Type J Thermocouple Probe
    • Conductivity Probe

Part 5 runs through all of the elements added to the MeasureNet Lab Software and LabKonnect Data Storage site that are now part of our new Cloud Based Real-Time Extended Monitoring and Experiments feature, which allows you to remotely monitor long term experiments from any browser.  

MeasureNet's Multi-Functional Optical Drop Counter Celebrates 10 Years!



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Development of MeasureNet’s optical drop counter began in 2000. Our goal was not only to automate, simplify and shorten the time for pH titration experiments, but also to improve the accuracy of students’ measurements. During its development, various innovative features were added to the design, as seen in Figure 1. MeasureNet’s Multi-Functional Drop Counter holds both a pH probe and a temperature probe, reducing the hardware needed to set up pH titration experiments, and the geometry was optimized to allow the use of small beakers and samples.

 Before the days of optical drop counters, simple wire electrical conductivity devices were the only automated and economical solutions for pH titrations in the teaching laboratory. A drop from the buret would make contact with two bare wires positioned closely together, creating a conductive current path. An electronic circuit would then convert this current into a pulse that was counted. A student could then calculate volume based on the number of drops and the average drop size, determined in a separate experiment. The MeasureNet system automatically determines the average drop size in each titration.

 The most common method of performing pH titrations is the manual method. The drawbacks to this method:

 Time consuming, giving students time to perform few titrations in a lab period.

  • Larger reagent volumes required, making titrations more expensive in terms of reagent usage and disposal.

  • Requires repetition for students to master endpoint detection with reasonable precision.

The 22nd BCCE at Penn State University marks the 10th anniversary of MeasureNet Technology’s introduction of the Optical Drop Counter to the chemical education community. During this decade, the MeasureNet drop counter has become a star in chemistry labs around the country and the world, performing a variety of functions even its designers had never imagined. MeasureNet’s drop counter allows students to leap past the typical pH titration experiment and engage in other interesting and educational titration methods like thermometric, potentiometric, amperometric and colorimetric titrations.

 MeasureNet Technology's introduction of the industry’s first Multi-Functional Optical Drop Counter technology in 2002 at the 17th BCCE at Western Washington University obviously caught the attention of the conference attendees and venders. The MeasureNet drop counter has emerged as the industry standard, copied by all its competitors, such as Vernier Software & Technology, Pasco Scientific and MicroLab Inc. MeasureNet is both flattered by this attention and inspired to do more to bring innovative technology into the teaching laboratory.



Important Chemists in History: Friedrich August Kekulé



Friedrich August Kekulé


September 20, 2006

Friedrich August Kekulé (1829-1896). German chemist. Initially a student of architecture, Kekulé studied chemistry under Liebig at Giessen and under Dumas in Paris. After brief periods in Switzerland and England (1854), and at the University of Heidelberg (1856), he became Professor of Chemistry at the universities of Ghent (1859) and Bonn (1867-1896). Acknowledged as one of the founders of classical molecular structure theory, Kekulé is best known for his proposal (along with the Scottish chemist, Archibald Scott Couper) that tetravalent carbon can undergo self-linkage to form homocatenated chains and rings (1858), and for his hexagonal cyclic structure for the benzene molecule (1865).

Courtesy of Professor William Jensen, Oesper Chair of the History of Chemistry and Chemical Education, University of Cincinnati

Important Chemists in History: Linus Pauling



Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling (1901-1994). American chemist. Professor at the California Institute of Technology (1927-1962), and Nobel Prize winner for both chemistry (1954) and peace (1962). Though Pauling began his career as a crystallographer, he is best known for his work on the electronic theory of the chemical bond, as summarized in his 1939 monograph, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, and for his later work on the molecular and electronic structures of large biomolecules. His name is most often associated with his scale of ionic radii (1927), his rules for rationalizing the most stable structures for complex ionic crystals (1929), his extensive use of the both the hybridization (1931) and resonance concepts (1932) in chemical bonding, and his thermochemical electronegativity scale (1932). He also gained considerable notoriety for his political activism in support of nuclear disarmament, and for his controversial advocacy of the supposed medical benefits of megadoses of vitamin C.

Courtesy of Professor William Jensen, Oesper Chair of the History of Chemistry and Chemical Education, University of Cincinnati

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