The group possesses two argon-filled gloveboxes for air-sensitive manipulations. There are several rigs for the safe reaction of solids with ammonia gas (for nitridation and intercalation) and CS2 vapour (for sulfurisation). Vacuum lines are used for the handling of volatile solvents such as liquid ammonia and sublimation reactions. As well as containing bench space for each group member, our labs are equipped with Schlenk lines for air-sensitive solution chemistry, vacuum lines for sealing silica reaction vessels and equipment for chemical analysis.
The furnace room is equipped with several chamber and tube furnaces capable of reaching temperatures of up to 1500 °C, and multizone furnaces for reactions requiring a temperature gradient. For higher temperatures an arc-welding furnace and induction furnaces are used. There is also an area used for high pressure solvothermal work.
Diffraction and Magnetometry
The group has access to several in house powder X-ray diffractometers, including flat plate and transmission diffractometers. Suitable holders and capillaries can be used to measure air-sensitive samples on the laboratory instruments. The Chemistry Research Laboratory, located across the road from the Inorganic Laboratory, houses single crystal X-ray diffractometers which can be used by the group. We also have two SQUID (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device) magnetometers in the department which enable very accurate magnetic susceptibility measurements and can be carried out up to 7 Tesla and from 1.8 to 800 K.
Alongside the in house instruments used for structural and electronic characterisation, the group regularly performs experiements at various measurement facilities. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction is carried out at the nearby Diamond Light Source and at the ESRF, Grenoble. Neutron powder dirraction studies at the ISIS facility and ILL, Grenoble are routinely used for detailed characterisation and can be carried out under a variety of conditions, including low temperature and high pressure. Group members regularly have the opportunity to attend these facilities in person.