Chemistry Laboratories

Welcome to the ILL Chemistry Laboratories

The ILL Chemistry Laboratories are run by the Soft Matter Science and Support (SMSS) group, which also manages the Soft Matter Laboratories of the Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter (PSCM).


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The main lab facilities are located in the Science Building, with the Chemistry Laboratories on the first floor and the PSCM Laboratories on the second floor. In addition, three sample preparation laboratories can be found in the guide halls ILL7 and ILL22.

The Chemistry facilities on the first floor of the Science Building comprise two sample preparation laboratories, a bio-preparation lab, a laboratory for handling corrosive substances, a balance room, an oven room and a cold room.

The sample preparation laboratories are equipped with fume cupboards, lab benches, demineralised and ultra-pure water, refrigerators, freezers, and in-house gas lines (nitrogen, argon, compressed air). Standard lab equipment such as pH meters, balances, hot plates, stirrers, ultrasonic baths, centrifuges, automatic pipettes and a stock of glassware and basic chemicals are provided. The oven room is equipped with standard ovens, vacuum ovens, a climate chamber and tube furnaces. Furthermore, a glovebox with an argon atmosphere and a fume cupboard for handling nano-powders can be found in the ILL Chemistry Laboratories.

The bio-preparation lab is equipped with a fridge/freezer, demineralised and ultra-pure water, a 2D rocker, a NanoDrop spectrophotometer (with fixed wavelengths), SDS-page equipment, automatic pipettes, a pH meter, a hot plate and a stock of basic glassware. Note that samples posing a biological hazard must not be handled in the bio-preparation lab and that there is no equipment for liquid chromatography available. In such cases, please get in touch with your Local Contact or the Chemistry Lab Manager to find out if additional support from the EMBL is needed.

Equipment for sample characterisation such as DLS/SLS, FTIR, UV-VIS and more is available via the PSCM. It is recommended that you book the equipment in advance.


Access to the Chemistry and PSCM Laboratories for ILL Users

If you wish to access the Chemistry, PSCM or guide hall laboratories to prepare or characterise your samples for an experiment, please request access on the ILL User Club when registering the relevant experiment (the request needs only to be made once for an experiment, not for each individual user). Please do so well in advance of your experiment and supply detailed information.

Before accessing the laboratories for the first time, you need to follow a lab induction on site. If you have received the induction during a previous visit, you need to ensure that the “Chemistry Lab Training” on the ILL User Club is valid.

On site, the Chemistry Lab Manager or PSCM coordinator generally provides you with physical access to the laboratories. Please ensure that you inform them about your arrival.

If you work with biological samples, please get in touch with your Local Contact or the Chemistry Lab Manager to find out if you need additional lab support from the ILL's Life Science Group in the PSB. Please submit your request at least 1 month before the beginning of your experiment.

The Chemistry Laboratories can supply you with heavy water or order chemicals other than those available in the laboratories. Please contact the Chemistry Lab Manager for details (quality, quantity, costs, etc.). UK researchers can apply for funding for consumables from ISIS.

If you need access to PSCM equipment, it is recommended that you book it in advance of the experiment.