School of EPS: Current Staff & Students

EPS Current Students and Staff

Information for new users


When submitting samples you must attach your user code to both the vial and your request form. This code should be the in the same format as your user code for Mass Spectrometry and NMR use, however, please do not include any symbols (eg. -,+,*,/,#,( ), etc.) in your code as I use these symbols as part of the system software to control the analyser. For example, my first sample would have the code GAE001 (up to a maximum of 7 characters). This code will be used if any future questions are made regarding your analyses. - KEEP A RECORD OF SAMPLES AND THEIR CODES !


  • Ideally samples should be at least 2.5mg as each analysis requires approximately 2.0mg, so ensure that there is this quantity available - if for any reason you cannot submit this quantity you should speak to me before hand to discuss a method of analysis. Samples of less than 2.0mg will not be run.

  • Sample vials and request forms are available from the microanalysis lab (Lab WP 2.29 just off the Inorganic teaching lab), and under no circumstances will samples be accepted without the request form being fully completed - This includes theoretical %CHN content (If I do not know approximate levels, I cannot take account of calibration errors and as a result the accuracy of your values will suffer!).

  • Request forms can be downloaded by clicking CHN Request Form (PDF).

  • Please do not use large sample bottles to submit samples - It is extremely difficult and time consuming chasing a single crystal, or a drop of liquid around the bottom of a large sample bottle.

  • Before submitting samples, ensure that they have been purified as much as possible, and there is no residual solvent present (thoroughly dry samples under vacuum if possible, or in drying ovens). Trace amounts of solvent, will cause the apparent 'weight' of your sample to be wrong, and hence give wrong %CHN values, and usually 'wet' samples cannot be weighed at all, as the weight decreases rapidly (millionths of a gram), as solvent evaporates.

  • It is important that your samples include a hazard assessment (on request form), and that you tell me if it is hygroscopic or volatile, as these factors will greatly affect the apparent weight of your sample (Remember we are weighing millionths of a gram!!). Air sensitive samples can also be handled, but a written notice (on request form) must be given.


Please conact Brian Hutton for further information about how the service is run and which day or days of the week the service will be available.

When you are intending to submit a sample you should first co-ordinate your work schedule so that the sample is ready in time for the beginning of a run - if you miss the cut-off time, your sample will not be run until the following week, so be prompt when handing in samples and ensure that you have completed the request form - I will not run any samples that have not been submitted correctly.

Assuming there are no major problems, the average turnaround time will be 1-2 days. This of course will vary from sample to sample, but the maximum turnaround should not exceed 1 week. In order to keep the turnaround time as low as possible it is essential that you purify samples as much as possible and that you submit samples regularly rather than saving them up and trying to run several at once.

For the time being the service will run on Wednesday / Thursday and the weekly cut-off time for sample submission will be 8.00pm on Tuesday evenings (If you are keen enough to be around at this time!). Samples that are submitted before the cut-off time will be analysed on Wednesday, and the results will be calibrated on Thursday morning.

The results of your analysis along with any remaining sample, will usually be returned to you personally on Thursday afternoon.

Please contact Dr Brian Hutton for further information.