The Glovebox is a critically important instrument used in the organometallic chemistry laboratory. Organo-transition metal complexes are largely pyrophoric, meaning that exposure to oxygen from the atmosphere will lead to spontaneous combustion. In order to safely work with these compounds, chemicals needed for synthesis are kept in this inert argon atmosphere.
Solids and glassware enter through the airlock, the oxygenated atmosphere is pumped off with a vacuum, and then introduced to the inert chamber. This is the location where starting materials are gathered for each experiment as well as the location where the final crystals are scraped out of the Schlenk Flask, weighed, and bottled for future use.
The Glovebox Rules and Guidelines PDF instructs scientists on the proper use of the Department of Chemistry’s Schlenk Line.
Vacuum Atmospheres glovebox equipped with an HE-493 dri-train (1989)