Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Maximum of 10 students per group. Up to 3 groups.

This is for Year 11-12 Chemistry Students with a strong interest in studying chemistry or chemical sciences at Higher Education. The draft outline for this at the moment is:

a.       Students will tour our analytical facilities and have talks delivered on each aspect of Mass Spec, NMR and X-Ray crystallography by academics who are experts in these fields. The tour will take approximately 1.5hours. OR

b.      The group would be split into  groups of 10 (or less) and each group would be given an in-depth talk related to one of the facilities. All students would see the machinery and it would be expected that knowledge gained from the talks would be shared back at school. This would take 45mins-1hour


Crystallography Department

The X-ray Crystallography facilities underpin much of the chemistry and materials research that takes place with in the Chemistry Department.
During a typical visit you will discover what constitutes a crystalline material, and how its periodic nature can be exploited to reveal the full three-dimensional structure of molecules and networks of atoms – achieving resolutions far beyond those possible with a microscope: Crystallography reveals atoms, bond lengths and angles, the 'shape' and chirality of molecules, and the many ways they can interact in the solid-state. You will have the opportunity to see the four single crystal X-ray diffractometers and crystalline powder X-ray diffractometer in use, and discuss some results of research carried out using the instruments.


Mass Spectrometry Tours

The Mass Spectrometry Research Facility supports research across the department of Chemistry, providing tools for molecular and structural identification.

On a tour of the facility you will visit the main mass spectrometry laboratory containing eight mass spectrometers and various inlet systems. You will be given a talk on how a mass spectrometers works and be introduced to a variety of ionization methods and analyzer types and be show what kind of information can be obtained using mass spectrometry. You will be able to see how mass spectrometry data is collected and how to interpret a mass spectrum. Finally you will have the opportunity to hear about some of the facilities’ current research projects.

NMR Spectroscopy Tours

The NMR Spectroscopy Facility supports the many research and teaching activities within the Chemistry Department. On a tour of the facility you will visit the main NMR research laboratory containing eight NMR spectrometers (like the one pictured below) and hear about how these operate, see the inner workings of an instrument and witness the effect of intense magnetic fields (from a safe distance!). You will be able to see how NMR data are collected and how simple NMR spectra can be interpreted in terms of chemical structures.

Optionally, for students who have already been introduced to NMR spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry as part of their school curriculum, we can also provide Organic Spectroscopy Workshops in which you become chemical detectives, having the chance to identify chemical structures from spectroscopic data, as professional chemists would do.


Our students were nervous about working in such a big lab but seemed to enjoy the experience; they were also impressed and intrigued with the NMR, Mass Spec & X-ray crystallography departments. Let's hope we inspire some of these students to study chemistry-related degree courses and beyond.