The Glassblowing Shop at Princeton University is a core facility of the Chemistry Department and is run by veteran laboratory glassblower Mike Souza.The Glassblowing Shop is managed and funded by the Department of Chemistry, but its services are available to all of Princeton University. The shop is physically located in the Department of Physics' Jadwin Hall. Please contact Panina Zaurov, Business Manager for the Department of Chemistry, about current rates.
The mission of the shop to work with researchers in the design and fabrication of specialty scientific glass instruments and to repair or adapt existing glassware for specific needs. The Glassblowing Shop is fully equipped with an oversize lathe, diamond saw, diamond wet grinder, and torches. We have the capacity to work with all types of glass including quartz, borosilicate, aluminosilicate, and soft glass.
An example of some of the work done for the Department of Chemistry is a "Schlenk line." A Schlenk line is a high-vacuum gas manifold system used for the safe manipulation of air sensitive compounds. The high-vacuum first removes air and contaminants from flasks holding these chemicals. Then, inert gases are back-filled into the flask. This technique is used to purify compounds or to remove the corrosive effects of oxygen or water. The Princeton Schlenk line is a variation of the Waydya/Dye line developed at Bell Labs. Both of these systems incorporate grease-free rotary valves. However in the Princeton Schlenk line, the valves are orienteded upright, allowing the user to view the see the valve seats as the valve is roataed. The Princeton configuration results in less outgassing because the lower seats always face the vacuum and the piston is always quenched in the dry gas.
The Glassblowing Shop has also successfully designed and fabricated high-pressure cells used in optical-spin exchange experiments for the Department of Physics. The cells are used in high-energy experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC). The Princeton Glassblowing Shop was the sole fabricator of glass components for this experiment that was a collaboration across five research institutes involving over 100 researchers.