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York College Chemistry Department first of its kind with new equipment

October 19, 2023
New Chemistry Equipment

York College of Pennsylvania's Chemistry Department is making waves with the acquisition of a groundbreaking new microscope.

Thanks to the support of the Huber Foundation, the York College Chemistry Department has obtained a Shimadzu Infrared/Raman microscope, making York College the first and only academic institution in the United States to possess this cutting-edge technology.

The new instrument, known as the AIRsight, utilizes Infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy to identify functional groups in organic molecules–molecule structures that allow users to tell the difference between compounds like alcohols and acids.

Gregory Foy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, says what sets this microscope apart is its ability to analyze samples in water and in glass containers, a capability not present in traditional IR spectroscopy.

“As an early adopter, our students will have a fantastic opportunity to work with Shimadzu scientists to develop new methods of analysis,” Dr. Foy says.

The AIRsight microscope will be integrated into all four of the Chemistry Department's majors: Biochemistry, Cannabinoid Chemistry, Chemistry, and Forensic Chemistry. The acquisition signals a promising future for York College's Chemistry program as it continues to provide students and the York chemistry community with the latest analytical instrumentation.