Research & Scholarship at UMBC

Core Facilities

UMBC NanoImaging Facility

The NanoImaging Facility offers high-resolution imaging equipment for researchers at UMBC and from other academic institutions, government laboratories and industry in the surrounding area. Usage is on a fee basis and technical help will be offered.

The currently available instruments are:

• JEOL 5600 Scanning Electron Microscope, equipped for secondary electron and back-scattered electron imaging and X-ray elemental analysis.
• Dimension 3100 Atomic Force Microscope for imaging hard and soft surfaces in contact and tapping modes and for the manipulation of objects on the nanometer scale.

A Nova NanoSEM 450 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope manufactured by FEI will be added in 2014, thanks to an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant. The instrument will be capable of nanometer resolution in both high and low vacuum, using a variety of detectors.

For more information, consult the facility's web page at or contact Dr. Laszlo Takacs, Department of Physics, 410-455-2524,

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility

The UMBC  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility has seven NMR spectrometers ranging from 800MHz to 200MHz operated by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Howard Hughes Medical Institute has three Bruker NMR spectrometers, one DMX800 and two DMX600 which are dedicated to the Bio-molecular NMR studies. The DMX800 and one DMX600 are equipped with a cryoprobe.

Two NMR spectrometers, a Bruker DRX500 with cryoprobe, and a JEOL ECX400 are dedicated to the research needs of graduate students and post-docs mainly focused on small molecules. Undergraduate NMR Facility houses a Varian Mercury200 FT-NMR spectrometer is dedicated to the teaching of undergraduate students. Undergraduates are not limited to using the Mercury200. In fact, more than 20 undergraduate students use the 400 and 500 instruments each year in undergraduate research.

Contact for more information and rates: Mr Josh Wilhide, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 410-455-2815,

Proteomics Facility

The Proteomics Facility is an instrumentation laboratory providing a variety of mass spectrometry services to the University and the research community at-large on a fee basis.

The facility capability has been augmented by a nanoLC-MS instrument. The new system, dedicated for proteomics applications is comprised of a ThermoFinnigan linear ion trap mass spectrometer and a UltiMate 3000  Dionex nano LC front end. The LTQ is a state-of-the-art, segmented linear ion trap with improved capacity, trapping efficiency, and scan speed when compared to a 3-dimensional trap. The LTQ can be set up to collect full scan MS and MSn (n=2-10) data. Advanced scanning modes include data-dependent scans, zoom scans, and ultra zoom scans. Ion mapping experiments can be used to generate full scan, neutral loss, and parent ion maps. Both positive and negative ions can be detected.

The facility serves as a resource offering service, training and instrumentation with the primary aim of providing investigators with access to contemporary mass spectrometry instrumentation and expertise. The facility has high resolution mass spectrometry, matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) capability. Instrumentation within this facility includes:

  • Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, MA) Apex III FTICR equipped with a 7T superconductive magnet
  • Bruker Daltonics Autoflex MALDI-TOF
  • Kratos (Manchester, UK) Kompact III MALDI-TOF
  • Bruker Daltonics Esquire 3000 LC-Quadrupole Ion Trap
  • Shimadzu Scientifics (Columbia, MD) GC17A/QP500 GC-single quadrupole
  • Bruker Daltronics UltroQ TOF

We are also adding an additional 12 T superconducting magnet equipped FTICR.

As one of the most powerful analytical tools of today, mass spectrometry has a variety of applications. The following applications recently hosted by the facility will provide an overview of our capabilities:



Protein Chemistry

Protein ID by peptide mass fingerprinting using MALDI

Determination of protein MW

Sample composition validation

Protein purification assessment


Identity and purity validation

Small Molecule

Structure elucidation by tandem mass spectrometry (MSn)


Elemental composition determination through accurate mass measurement


LC-MS and GC-MS purity assessment

Impurities and degradants profiling


Contact for more information and rates: Mr Josh Wilhide, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 410-455-2815,

High Performance Computing Facility

The UMBC High Performance Computing Facility (HPCF) is a community-based, interdisciplinary core facility for scientific computing and research on parallel algorithms. Started in 2008 by more than 20 researchers from more than ten departments and research centers from all three colleges, it is supported by faculty contributions, federal grants, and the UMBC administration. The facility is open to UMBC researchers at no charge. Researchers can purchase nodes for long-term priority access. System administration is provided by the UMBC Division of Information Technology, and users have access to consulting support provided by a dedicated full-time GRA. Installed in Fall 2009, the current machine is the 86-node distributed-memory cluster tara with two quad-core Intel Nehalem processors and 24 GB per node, an InfiniBand interconnect, and 160 TB central storage.

For more information about HPCF and its resources and projects, visit or contact the chair of the user committee, Dr. Matthias Gobbert, Department of Mathematics and Statistics,, 410-455-2404.

X-Ray Crystallographic Facility

We have expanded capability in the area structural analysis of biomolecules with an RU-H3R rotating anode X-ray generator with an R-AXIS IV++ image plate detector. For data collection of frozen crystals at 100K, we have added a 600 series Oxford Cryostream.

Contact for more information and rates: Mr. Dennis Cuddy, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 410-455-2522,

UMBC Keith R. Porter Core Imaging Facility

The main purpose of this facility is to offer specialized microscope equipment as a research tool for laboratories here at UMBC and the surrounding area. This mission encompasses the procurement, maintenance, teaching of the equipment and protocol development. Instrumentation within this facility includes:

Confocal Microscope

Leica TCS 4D Scanning Confocal Light Microscope


Leica TCS SP5 Scanning Confocal Light Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope


Transmission Electron Microscope



Sorvall MT2-B  and LKB Ultratome V


Ancillary Equipment:

Contact for more information and rates: Ms. Chere Perry, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 301-367-8408,, 

General Services

The research enterprise of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is centered in the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building, the research facilities of which were completely renovated over a three year period terminating in the dedication to the Meyerhoff's in October 2005. In addition to state-of-the-art NMR, Mass Spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction facilities, the department maintains of wide array of modern instrumentation to assist researchers in their quest of solving biochemical and chemical problems of critical significance.

An example listing of equipment includes:

  • Spectroscopy – polarimetry, circular dichroism, spectrofluorometry, stop-flow kinetics, DNA melt apparatus, laser spectroscopy, etc.
  • Electrochemistry – cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, coulometry, impedance spectroscopy, polarographic techniques, pulsed amperometric techniques, etc.
  • Separations – analytical and preparative ultra-centrifuges, high performance liquid chromatography, ion chromatography, etc.

Contact for more information and rates: Mr. Dennis Cuddy, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 410-455-2522,

Glasswork Facility

Expert scientific glassware and glass component repair, design assistance and manufacture of novel glass pieces, and general glassblowing services are available to University System of Maryland users and outside entities.

Contact for more information and rates: Mr. Anthony Baney, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, 410-455-2966,