Gathered here are laboratory experiments developed to introduce students to important concepts in analytical chemistry and published in The Journal of Chemical Education. Each entry includes a brief description of the experiment, the full citation, and a link to the article's DOI.
Factor Analysis of Multicomponent Samples. Students use factor analysis to determine the number of analytes in a set of samples, and then identify and determine the composition of each analyte in each sample. The full citation is Harvey, D. T.; Bowman, A. J. Chem. Educ.1990, 67, 470-472 (DOI).
Optimization of HPLC and GC Separations Using Response Surfaces: Three Experiments for the Instrumental Analysis Lab. This experiment introduces students to the use of window diagrams, overlapping resolution maps, and simplex optimization for optimizing the separation of mixtures. The full citation is Harvey, D. T.; Byerly, S. Bowman, A.; Tomlin, J. J. Chem. Educ.1991, 68, 162-168 (DOI).
Statistical Analysis of Acid/Base Indicators-A First Experiment for the Quantitative Analysis Laboratory. This experiment introduces students to the statistical analysis of data within the context of a simple acid-base titration. Using pooled data, in which each student is assigned one of five visual indicators, students learn, through a comparative analysis of the data, to appreciate the difference between precision and accuracy, and the difference between reproducibility and repeatability. The full citation is Harvey, D. T. J. Chem. Educ.1991, 68, 329-330 (DOI).
Two Experiments Illustrating the Importance of Sampling Quantitative Analysis. Students analyze a sample of NaCl crystals coated with erythosin B, using a four-level nested experimental design to partition the overall variance into that due to sampling, sample preparation, the positioning of the sample cell in a spectrophotometer, and the measurement of absorbance. Because the sample appears homogeneous, students are surprised to find that the process of obtaining the sample is the greatest source of experimental uncertainty and understand why attention to sampling is important. The full citation is Harvey, D. T. J. Chem. Educ.2002, 79, 360-363 (DOI).
External Standards or Standard Additions? Selecting and Validating a Method of Standardization. Students are guided through a process of in which they stumble upon the importance of considering a sample's matrix when designing and validation a standardization. By the end of the experiment, students understand the importance of matrix matching when using external standards, or of using standard additions when matrix matching is not possible. The full citation is Harvey, D. T. J. Chem. Educ.2002, 79, 613-615 (DOI).
Following a self-study in 1999, our department completed a top-to-bottom reorganization of our curriculum. One feature of this curriculum is a four-course introductory core that provides foundational course work in all five major areas of chemistry. To provide an introduction to analytical chemistry, we developed a laboratory to accompany a 200-level course entitled Thermodynamics, Equilibria, and Kinetics. The laboratory is built around a series of four one-week preliminary experiments that introduce students to important aspects of analytical thinking: the need to make careful measurements, signals and noise, calibrations and standardizations, and the analysis of data. These preliminary experiments are followed by a set of four two-week project-based experiments in which students, working in teams, design experiments to answer specific questions related to the thermodynamics, equilibrium chemistry, and/or kinetics of a chemical system. The following citation describes this laboratory course.
Incorporating Analytical Chemistry Into an Introductory Course in Chemistry. The full citation is Harvey, D. T. Spectrosc. Lett.2007, 40(3), 381-394 (DOI).