General lab protocols

This page contains a variety of information about different group protocols. It’s supposed to be helpful and informative, and if there’s anything you think should be added or revised please just let me know.

Chemical, supply, equipment, glassware orders: The first place to check if we need or run out of something is the stockroom.  If the item(s) are not there then they can be purchased using Wesleyan’s WFS system (online, accessed through your portfolio). If you’re not set up to order things from the stockroom or portfolio then just let me know what we need and I’ll place the order. If you need it right away or if you only need a little bit of something then you can always check with other groups to see if we can borrow it (there will soon be an online chemical inventory for every group in the chem department). Likewise if anyone from another group would like to borrow chemicals or supplies from us.

When a new chemical comes in: New chemicals should already have a sticker with the date the chemical was received on it. If not, then mark the date on the container with a permanent marker. If the chemical is on the hazards list then you need to also mark it with a small piece of blue tape. Then be sure to put it away in the proper location. Don’t know what the proper location is? Just ask.

Working at night: I would prefer that people do not do experiments in the lab at night when there isn’t at least one other person in the lab. If for some reason you absolutely must set up and run an experiment when nobody else is around then please exercise extra caution and do not work with any particularly hazardous materials.

First time experiments: If you are unfamiliar with a reaction, reagent, or technique then talk to someone who is familiar with it (another group member, me, or someone else in the department) to find out about specific precautions and/or protocols. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Hazardous materials: For any chemical that it is marked with blue tape (e.g. t-BuLi), before using it the first time you should talk to me or someone else in the lab who has used it and knows the proper techniques and safety precautions.

Last one out: If you’re the last one out of the lab at night please take 2 minutes to check (1) that none of the N2 lines are needlessly open or bubbling too fast, (2) no water is needlessly running or flowing to fast to condensers, (3) vacuum pumps are turned off and their traps are open, (4) the freezer is locked, and (5) turn the lights off.

Lab notebooks: Here’s an example of how information should be recorded in lab notebooks: