Facilities, Instrumentation & Safety


Chemistry faculty members work out of dedicated GW science and research buildings as well as several major D.C.-based institutions, offering a robust range of opportunities.



Research at our Foggy Bottom and Ashburn facilities relies on an array of cutting-edge instrumentation and equipment:

  • Atomic absorption spectrometer
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Auger spectrometers
  • Gas and liquid chromatographs
  • Inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometer
  • Infrared spectrometer
  • Laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-MS)
  • Laser spectroscopy laboratory suite
  • LED
  • Mass spectrometers, including an ICP-MS system
  • Nanofabrication and Imaging Center, which features valuable tools including light microscopy, confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIBSEM)
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
  • Scanning tunneling microscope
  • Thin film deposition apparatus
  • Ultra-high vacuum systems
  • Ultraviolet/visible spectrometer


A CEM instrument in a lab



Lab Safety Basics

The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing a safe laboratory environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors to our beautiful facilities. As teaching and research assistants, graduate students are responsible for helping to maintain that safe environment.

Screwdrivers lined up in a chemistry laser lab


  • Be safety conscious at all times.
  • Never work in the laboratory alone, or at least without another person within easy call. Always inform someone (e.g., security at extension x4-6110) that you are in the laboratory if you will be alone.
  • Safety goggles should be worn, particularly when working with glassware under reduced or elevated pressure.
  • Contact lenses should not be worn; chemicals splashed into the eyes or dissolved in tears from vapors can be trapped under contact lenses and are not rinsed away by normal tear action or by washing at an eye-wash fountain.
  • Do not store food or beverages in a chemical refrigerator.
  • Secure all compressed gas cylinders.
  • From phones on the university telephone system, calls for the fire department, metropolitan police (emergencies only) or for an ambulance are made by dialing x9-911.
  • All incidents in the Department of Chemistry must be reported.  Please follow the Accident and Injury Protocol.  In case of an emergency,  call the university police at extension x4-6111. Seek medical attention if necessary.  If more than first aid is required,  an injured student should be taken to the Colonial Health Center. In emergencies or if the student health center is closed, patients should be taken to the emergency room at the GW hospital.  An Incident Report forms should be completed for each incident.



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