Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, United States
J. Chem. Educ., 2013, 90 (4), pp 500–505
Publication Date (Web): March 15, 2013
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.