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Jasco J-1500 Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimeter for Small-molecule, Peptide, Protein and Polymer Structure Determination









Circular dichroism (CD) is a fundamental optical spectroscopy technique that measures the absorption differences between left and right circularly polarized light. This absorption can only occur for asymmetric or chiral species, which include small-molecule aggregates, large proteins and polymers. Researchers from Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Sciences, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, the Institute for Protein Design and Bioengineering are primary users of CD as a means to confirm the integrity of their molecules. This proposal requests the purchase of a JASCO spectropolarimeter for use by undergraduate and graduate researchers across these research disciplines in order to determine and quantitate polymeric structures. This purchase will replace a JASCO J-720 instrument installed in August 1990 which is no longer serviced and for which original parts are unavailable, leading to very limited utility of the instrument for a maximum of 60 min at a time. The new JASCO-1500 would be housed in the Chemistry Core Instrumentation Facility and the J-720 would be sent to UW Surplus for recycling. The J-1500 is the only system in North America that can be simultaneously employed for the steady-state measurement of CD, linear dichroism (LD), and absorbance. These three imaging modes have a wide range of applications in material sciences and biomedical research. The J-1500 System will be housed at the UW Seattle campus, within the user-driven Chemistry department Core Instrumentation Facility in Bagley Hall. The current instrument is used by undergraduate and graduate students from more than 8 departments and occasionally by local industrial scientists.


Researchers or students intending to use the J-1500 will be able to reserve its use with a pre-existing reservation system ( This process ensures that users are held accountable for maintaining the instrument in working order, while enabling the instrumentation facility to monitor the number and frequency of users.

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Learn about the Student Technology Fee and the proposal process by attending a Workshop led by our staff and receive 1:1 support with your proposal.


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