The Chemistry Department places a strong emphasis on experimental work in its chemistry and biochemistry programmes, and to this end has expended considerable funds to provide outstanding laboratory facilities. Indeed, we feel that our undergraduate laboratories are as well equipped as any undergraduate laboratories in Canada.

Over the past several years improvements to our laboratory facilities have included:

  • a Departmental Microcomputer Laboratory that includes facilities for computer-assisted information retrieval and online searching, and for molecular modeling;
  • the Celanese Canada Inc. Laboratory, supported by a generous gift from Hoechst Canada, that houses our nmr facilities including a superconducting-magnet 200MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer that allows students to carry out sophisticated nmr experiments involving both protons and carbon-13, and also to perform variable temperature, spin-decoupling, and 2-dimensional nmr experiments; and
  • a Biochemistry Teaching & Research Laboratory.

Currently we are planning a major renovation of our two largest teaching labs to enable students to perfrom microscale synthesis in an all fume-hood, high ventillation facility, made possible as a major objective of the Learning for Life Capital Campaign.

Equipment and Instrumentation

In keeping with our goal of providing Students and Faculty with access to modern instrumentation for laboratory techniques, the Chemistry Department continues to provide new equipment and instrumentation and has modern facilities in the following specific areas:


  • Electrophoresis.
  • Cell culture.
  • Chromatography.
  • Refrigerating Circulation.
  • Spectroscopy.
  • Ultracentrifugation.


  • Analytical HPLC (computer controlled, uv/refractive index detection, and dual pumping solvent gradient control).
  • Spinning thin layer chromatography.
  • Column chromatography.
  • Gas-Liquid Chromatography.
  • Low pressure, high pressure, and preparative HPLC.


  • Online searching.
  • Instrument control.
  • Molecular modeling.


  • Diode Array UV/VIS spectrophotometery.
  • FTIR spectroscopy for solid, liquid, and gas phase samples (including Diffuse Reflectance, Specular Reflectance, and ATR as well as other FTIR techniques).
  • Multinuclear NMR spectroscopy.
  • Various other UV / VIS / IR / NMR spectrometers


  • Atomic absorption spectrometer.
  • Coulometry.
  • Karl Fischer water and automatic titrimetry
  • Polarography.

Our undergraduate laboratories also have facilities for:

Fractional distillation, Kugelrohr micro-distillation, spinning-band distillation, and vacuum distillation; rotary evaporation; calorimetry; polarimetry; refractometry; magnetic susceptibility; gas phase kinetics; radioactivity measurement; preparation of anhydrous solvents; purification and use of non-aqueous and dipolar aprotic solvents; reactions carried out at low and at high temperatures; generation and manipulation of reactive reagents (e.g. ketene, ozone, diazomethane); inorganic, organic, and organometallic syntheses; manipulation of sensitive materials under an argon atmosphere; glass blowing.

Chemical Information Retrieval

Knowing how to retrieve chemical information efficiently from the literature is a valuable skill for all chemistry and biochemistry students to acquire. This is especially true of upper year students, and honours students carrying out research projects. Further, knowing where to find information is an essential preparation for graduate studies. For this reason, the Chemistry Department at Bishop’s University offers the following courses on Chemical Information Retriev

  • Chemical Literature and Project: CHE470a

To meet the needs of the students and faculty in Chemical Information Retrieval, the Chemistry Department has access to the following major reference works, abstracts, alerting services, and research journal article reprint services, in addition to substancial holdings of bound research journals.

Includes over 19 million abstracts of chemistry-related literature and patents and more than 27 million substance records respectively
Available in the Library (Print) and Online from the Department’s Computers
Cambridge Crystallographic Database – Access to the crystal structures of all chemical compounds containing at least one carbon atom and the protein crystallographic databank.

STN International

Over 200 scientific databases available Online from the Department’s computer

Index Chemicus

Current guide to chemical research and chemical technology. Written to facilitate rapid scanning and discovery of material
Reaction schemes, experimental data, and yields are included in addition to bibliographic information, and author’s abstracts
Available in the Library (Print)

Science Citation Index

Available in Print / CD-ROM / Online

Beilstein’s Handbuch der Organischen Chemie

Multi-volume collection of published data and literature references; extensive source of information on organic compounds
Available in the Chemistry Department ‡ and in the Library (Print)

Houben-Weyl: Methoden der Organischen Chemie

Standard reference work for Organic Synthesis; extensive experimental details are provided
Available in the Chemistry Department (Print) ‡

CISTI (Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information)

Covers more than 15 million articles in 17,000 different journals
Available to Students through the Faculty members of the Department

† Access is provided through the Canadian Fund for Innovation in Science (CFI)
‡ Donated by the Research Center Library of Domtar Limited

Here are a few links you may find useful:

Bishop’s University Library
NIST Chemistry WebBook
The Protein Data Bank
Maple Tutorials