Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cleaning, Measurements & Solutions

Today started out with a lesson about solutions. Dr. Hornak reviewed which solutions I would be preparing and how I would prepare them. I loved this lesson because I felt like I understood everything. It was all chemistry, which is my territory. After the lesson we headed over to building 8 to watch Yugie, a PhD student, work with the NMR machine. I was supposed to get a feel for how the system works and how to collect data. Unfortunately the NMR was not working properly this morning. For some reason when Yugie tried to "wobb" the computer kept saying that there was an acquisition in progress, which meant the machine was already doing some experiment or measuring something. You would think that this would not be a great problem, but no matter what Dr. Hornak tried he could not stop the acquisition that was currently in progress. He even tried entering the "kill" command! Eventually the only choice was to reboot the system. I basically learned that the NMR is constantly malfunctioning and to bring a sweatshirt tomorrow since the NMR room is FREEZING!

After this interesting morning I began to work on solutions with Becky. Becky taught me how to clean the 100 mL volumetric flasks and how to make the right calculations to create the many solutions. Surprisingly, cleaning took up a lot of the day. After receiving the 17 volumetric flasks from the stock room I learned about the water filter system in the lab. Unfortunately, like the NMR, it is constantly malfunctioning. When the filter system shows the number 18, the water is pure; without any metals, etc. Becky explained that since the system isn't working properly it takes a very long time for the purity level to reach 18. So after the system finally reached a level around 17.8 we washed each flask with water and soap. We then proceeded to clean each flask with HCl. Before finishing the rest of the cleaning process, I met up with the rest of the interns to eat lunch in the Student Alumni Union where I played an intense game of air hockey.

I then began my failed attempt to receive keys to the labs I will be using in the College of Science. Hopefully, after I get one more signiture, I will be adding my building 8 keys to my lanyard tomorrow. I then continued my lengthy cleaning process and waited for the water filter to reach atleast 17.8. After a very long wait I rinsed out each flask 4 or 5 times with deionized water.

I was finally ready to start preparing the solutions! Becky helped me make all the neccessary calculations before she went to meet with Dr. Hornak. I added the amounts of CuSO4 that we had calculated to the different flasks and calculated the measurements for the .05 M omniscan stock solution. After adding 2 mL of omniscan to the CuSo4 solutions I filled the flask to the 100 mL line with deionized (DI) water. After the solutions were ready I went through my first NMR acquisition with Becky on the old computer. I was very excited when everything worked correctly and when I was able to create a very nice looking graph. I started to creat more NMR samples to test before I headed home. I learned a lot today about solutions and the NMR machine. I finally started lab work!

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