RES.5-0001 | Spring 2007 | Undergraduate

Digital Lab Techniques Manual



The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented. Legal Notice

1 Volumetric Techniques 
Don’t let inaccuracy hold you back in lab! This video introduces the proper methods for measuring precise volumes of liquid using pipets, burets, volumetric flasks, and syringes.
2 Titration 
Learn how to master the art of titration in this video – with a detailed demonstration of an acid/base titration using phenolphthalein.
3 TLC-The Basics 
Thin-layer chromatography is the most commonly used analytical technique in many research labs. This video walks you through every step, from setting up a developing chamber to calculating Rf values.
4 TLC-Advanced 
Discover a few of the more complicated skills related to thin layer chromatography – cutting glass TLC plates, flame-pulling spotters, and using TLC stains to visualize spots.
5 Reaction Work-Up I

Extracting, Washing and Drying: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Learn how to “work up” your reaction using a separatory funnel to perform a liquid-liquid extraction. This is one purification technique you don’t want to miss!

6 Reaction Work-Up II 
Using the Rotavap: The rotary evaporator is your friend in the lab. This video will ensure that you build a safe and productive relationship.
7 Filtration 
The easiest way to separate a liquid from a solid? Filtration! Learn how to effectively carry out gravity and vacuum filtrations in this video.
8 Sublimation

From solid to gas, and then straight back to solid. This purification technique is both beautiful and useful. Find out why by watching the atmospheric pressure sublimation of ferrocene in this video.

9 Recrystallization

Recrystallization takes patience, but it’s worth it! This video walks you through the procedure, from solubility tests to cold filtration, with information on one-solvent and two-solvent recrystallizations.

10 Column Chromatography 
It takes considerable practice to master the art of “running a column”. This video will get you started, with tips on picking appropriate conditions, packing and running a column, monitoring separation, and even making a micro-column from a pipet.
11 Using a Balance 
Correct usage and maintenance of a balance is a basic skill that is essential in any laboratory procedure.
12 Melting Point Determination

Throughout your laboratory experiences, you will frequently need to assess the purity or identity of a crystalline solid. Both of these goals can be accomplished by determining a compound’s melting point.

13 Using an Automatic Pipet

The most accurate method of transferring liquids less than 1 mL in volume involves the use of an automatic pipette. Learn the proper techniques for ensuring accuracy and precision in your laboratory work.

14 Making Buffers and Using a pH Meter 
Many chemistry and biochemistry procedures will require you to perform a reaction at a specific pH. This video demonstrates two methods of buffer preparation and proper use of the pH meter.
15 Distillation I: Simple & Fractional Distillations 
Learn how to separate or purify liquid mixtures that boil below 150°C with or without a fractionating column.
16 Distillation II: Vacuum Distillations 
Do you need to purify a liquid that boils above 150°C? This video shows you how to perform a distillation under vacuum.
17 Refluxing a Reaction

Most organic reactions occur slowly at room temperature and require heat to allow them to go to completion in a reasonable time frame. Running a reaction under reflux allows you to heat a reaction without losing solvent due to evaporation and with causing an explosion.

Videos #1-10 created by Dr. Sarah Tabacco and Aaeyesha Siddiqui. Videos #11-17 created by Dr. Kimberly Berkowski and Eileen Huang.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Tutorial Videos