Thordarson Group - Techniques

The interdisciplinary nature of our work means that we need access to a larger range of techniques that you would normally expect in a chemistry research group. We are fortunate enough to have access to all of the techniques listed below, either in our own laboratory or communal access through the School of Chemistry and the nearby Electron Microscope Unit.

Organic synthesis

Organic synthesis is the underpinning technique for most of our work, even in the area of self-assembled materials as the starting compounds for self-assembly still have to be synthesised using classical organic chemistry techniques.

We are very well equipped to carry out organic synthesis in our laboratory, having a number of fumehoods fitted with vacuum (Schlenk) lines, heaters/stirrers, glassware, etc. The picture below shows a reaction underway in a fumehood in our laboratory.

Protein bioconjugation

In our bioconjugation work, we need specialized equipment for the handling and purification of proteins and protein bioconjugates. We are fortunate enough to have access to a state-of-the-art Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC) from GE Biosciences (Akta purifier). This instrument is equipped with a range of chromatographic options for proteins including anion-exchange, cation-exchange, immobilized metal-ion affinity (IMAC), hydrophobic and size-exclusion chromatography. The picture below shows some of the waterbaths available in our laboratory.

We also have a range of other equipment for protein handling and purification, including electrophoresis, microcentrifuges, shakers, mixers and water baths.


The purity of the chemicals we synthesise is of uttermost importance to their subsequent applications. To this end we are heavily dependent on chromatograpy techniques, both classical column chromatograpy, and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The latter is available to us in the separation laboratory which is very well equipped with a range of analytical and preparative HPLC instruments, operating both in normal and reverse-phase mode.

reaction in a fumehood
Reaction in a fumehood
column chromatography
Column chromatography

NMR and UV-Vis

Coming soon.

Fluorescence and laser spectroscopy

Coming soon.

Microscopy, including AFM and STM

We have access to a range of microscopy techniques in the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU), including AFM (atomic force microscopy) and STM (scanning tunnelling microscopy) that are combined in a single SPM (scanning probe microscopy) instrument from Agilent (formely Molecular Imaging).

The EMU has also just obtain a new NSOM (near-field scanning optical microscope) from NT-MDT. This instrument has a 488 nm excitation laser in addition to a specialized near-infrared (NIR) laser and detection systems for wavelengths above 1000 nm.

Scanning Prob Microscope
(SPM - inlcudes AFM and STM)

Surface and electrochemistry

Coming soon.

Cellular Biology

We have access to a first-class facility for cellular biology at the Electron Microscope Unit (EMU). This includes autoclaves, incubators and laminar flow fumehoods. The facilites at the EMU also include shakers, incubators, thermocyclers and the like for protein expression.

Binding data analysis

Coming soon.

Laminar flow cabinet
Laminar flow fumehood