Research facilities

Our academics and postgraduate researchers have access to the following specialist facilities and laboratories, which our undergraduate and Masters students may benefit from during their project work.

  • Colour science analytical - a range of sophisticated analytical equipment used by postgraduate students and research staff but also available for external contract work. A scanning electron microscope provides the capability required to visually examine a wide range of materials and assess their performance and quality. For further information contact: Algy Kazlauciunas, t: 0113 343 2939, e:
  • iPRD laboratory - this laboratory provides facilities for chemical processing and small scale manufacture of chemicals, to order, which allows the inventiveness and creativity of people in academia to be harnessed to provide solutions for chemicals manufacturing companies. For further information contact: John Blacker, t: 0113 343 8239, e:
  • Nova NanoSEM450 scanning electron microscope - this instrument operates with a FEG source in standard secondary electron and backscattered electron modes and also has a CBS detector which makes it possible to image non-conductive samples without coating.
  • NMR spectroscopy - 4 x 500 MHz machines offering variable temperature, multinuclear, multidimensional, and diffusion measurement capabilities, 1 x 400MHz machine with solids capability (no low temperature work) and 2 x 300MHz machines with 1H/13C and 1H/19F/13C/31P capability and variable temperature, multidimensional capabilities.
  • HIRAC (Highly Instrumented Reactor for Atmospheric Chemistry) - a NERC funded atmospheric simulation chamber developed to bridge the divide between the study of elementary reactions in the lab, and large scale field work. Unlike any other atmospheric simulation chambers HIRAC allows researchers the unique ability to control temperature, pressure and photolysis rates during experiments. For further information contact: Paul Seakins, t: 0113 343 6568, e:
  • Mass spectrometry - we offer mass spectrometry in both serviced and open access modes. For further information contact: Stuart Warriner, t: 0113 343 6437, e:
    • Bruker MicrOTOF - accurate MS measurements to within 5ppm using electrospray ionisation
    • Waters GCT Premiere - accurate MS measurements to within 5ppm using EI, CI and Field Desorption ionisation methods
    • Bruker HCT-Ultra - walk up MS, MS-MS, LC-MS-(MS) measurements using electrospray ionisation for both small molecule and biological samples
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) - we have a number of HPLC instruments for analytical and preparative work. A range of chiral columns are also available for ee determination. For further information contact: Stuart Warriner, t: 0113 343 6437, e:
    • 2 x Agilent 1290 series HPLC systems. These systems perform the majority of our analytical work. The high pressure ratings enable them to be used with rapid resolution columns enabling run time to be shortened to minutes for many applications.
    • Agilent 1260 Mass Directed Preparative HPLC. Walk up mass directed prep- HPLC system connected to a mass spectrometer – simply specify the mass of your target compound and the system will only collect peaks of the appropriate compound.
    • Gilson Prep HPLC - UV detected Prep HPLC system suitable for flow rates up to 200 ml/min for optimized Preparative HPLC.
  • Robotic liquid handling and screening - automation of biological assays is supported through robotic liquid handling and plate reader systems. For further information contact: Stuart Warriner, t: 0113 343 6437, e:
    • Hamilton Star Liquid Handler - an 8 channel robotic liquid handler dispensing volumes between 1ul and 1 ml into a range of different plate formats (eg 96 and 384 well plates). On deck barcode reading, cooling and shaking are all possible. The system is very flexible and is run by a dedicated technician.
    • Perkin Elmer Envision plate reader - a high sensitivity plate reader with large range of filters. Capable of fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarisation, FRET and TR-FRET measurements along with luminescence, and absorption measurements in both top and bottom read modes.  In situ injectors allow for rapid kinetic measurements.
    • CambridgeSoft Information Management system enables results of large compound screens to be automatically processed and compound structure to be linked with results.
  • Biological chemistry suite - two category 2 containment labs are fully equipped for molecular biology and protein expression/purification. Facilities include two refrigerated Kuhner shaker-incubators, each with capacity for up to 10 L of bacterial or yeast culture; Constant Systems cell disrupter; Beckman Coulter J30I centrifuge with maximum centrifugal force of 110,000 x g; and Akta Purifier FPLC system. For further information contact: Bruce Turnbull, t: 0113 343 7438, e:
  • X-Ray diffraction
    • Bruker X8 single crystal diffractometer facility - a diffractometer with Apex II area detector and Mo rotating anode source for the determination of single X-ray crystal structures.  We have facilities for either N2 cooling (to 100K) or He cooling (to 30K). Trained users may collect and solve their own data, and we offer two levels of service: data collection only; or data collection with structure solution and refinement. For further information contact: Michaele Hardie, t: 0113 343 6458, e:
  • Specialist carbon dioxide facilities - understanding and exploiting the chemistry of carbon dioxide is of vital importance for the future. To enable this, we have a range of equipment for high pressure (liquid and supercritical) and low pressure (gaseous) carbon dioxide, much of it housed in a recently refurbished dedicated interdisciplinary CO2 laboratory funded by the Wolfson Foundation. For further information contact: Christopher Rayner, t: 0113 3436579, e:
  • Computational methods - excellent facilities, including a dedicated parallel computing cluster, are available for the in silico design of biological active small molecules. A wide range of projects use the known structure of a target protein as a starting point for the design of small molecule inhibitors. The SPROUT software suite has been continuously developed in Leeds over many years, and allows the de novo design of ligands within the context of a binding site. Researchers are also able to use the computational facilities for bioinformatics provided within the Astbury Centre, for docking, sequence analysis and protein structure prediction. For further information contact: Richard Foster, t: 0113 3435759, e:

We are committed to sharing our facilities and associated expertise with external academic and industrial collaborators. If you are looking to locate a particular item of research equipment you can search the N8 database, which holds details of all the equipment and facilities across the N8 university partnership.