Laboratory Products

Report on Polarimeter Research at the University of Leeds


Professor Andrew J Wilson is Professor of Organic Chemistry in The School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds and current Deputy Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. His interests include the application of synthetic chemistry to problems in chemical biology and nanotechnology.

Polarimetry is regarded as a standard analytical characterisation technique. The Leeds Schmidt + Haensch Polartronic H532 Polarimeter is primarily used for the characterisation of chiral molecules that have been synthesised in the School of Chemistry, either for confirmation of specific rotation of a previously reported molecule, or for the completion of the characterisation of a novel molecule to appropriate scientific rigour. For example, some researchers are involved in the synthesis of unnatural amino acids, where it is essential that enantiopurity is established before further experimentation is done - where specific rotations are cornerstone in confirming chiral purity of synthesised molecules, accuracy and reproducibility so the decision was made to replace it.

Speaking about the reasons behind choosing the Schmidt + Haensch polarimeter, Professor Wilson said: "the benefit of the S&H polarimeter is the precision of the instrument which can resolve and stabilise rotations to four decimal places rapidly and consistently. The specific rotation calculation is also a useful feature that has been well used by members of the department. Researchers within the school who have been using the polarimeter are pleased with its performance and simplicity."

Schmidt + Haensch have pioneered the technology behind polarimetry and refractometry. They now hold several key patents, enabling them to produce opto-electronic measuring instruments of the highest quality and accuracy. Their automatic digital polarimeters are designed to characterise optical active substances in the most demanding quality control and research laboratories.

Ian Laidlaw, Managing Director at Analytik commented: "The competition that can even approach the H532 with respect to accuracy can only achieve it within the range of ±1°. The H532 achieves the same level of accuracy across the full measurement range of ±89°. This is an exceptional instrument, recommended also by PerkinElmer Inc, a global technology leader in multi-vendor laboratory services, software and informatics."

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