Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
What the facility does

Molecular structural characterization and analytical services for materials science, physical, agricultural and life sciences.

Areas of expertise

The Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre (SSSC) is the central shared-instrument facility at the University of Saskatchewan. The SSSC and the Canadian Light Source (CLS), Canada’s national synchrotron research facility, are within walking distance of each other. Researchers apply the SSSC’s specialized advanced analytical instruments to advance fundamental research and tackle real-world problems. Major instrumentation includes: NMR spectrometers (600 MHz and 3 x 500 MHz), Mass spectrometers (LC- MS/MS, GC-MS), Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometers (small molecule and proteins), microscopes (Raman, FTIR, 1 and 2 photon Fluorescence confocal, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging, Scanning Probe), Optical Spectrometers, 2 ultra fast lasers for lifetime and fast processes measurement, ESR spectrometers (X band and Q band), X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer, X-ray Photoelectron spectrometer, X-Ray Luminescence spectrometer, Surface Plasmon Resonance, Dynamic Light Scattering and Isothermal Titration Calorimeter. Our highly qualified staff train students and users in data acquisition on the SSSC’s instrumentation, theory and interpretation of results. Researchers access analytical instrumentation and expertise at both the SSSC and the CLS to investigate structure and composition of materials for R&D encompassing basic scientific and engineering research applied in a wide range of fields, such as energy, electronics, health, pharmaceuticals, environment, bioproduct development and agriculture. 

Research services

Analytics, photonics, metabolomics, imaging

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Specialized lab



Structural Analysis Lab

NMR spectrometers

3 500 MHz, for solution and solid samples, LC-NMR, 600 MHz; all spectrometers upgraded in 2014


Mass spectrometers



X-ray crystallography

Apex II for Small molecule crystallography

Biophysical Lab

Surface Plasmon Resonance

 BioRad Proteon 36


Circular dichroism

Equipped with fluorescence detector, stop flow, ORD


Dynamic light scattering



Isothermal titration calorimetry



Perfusion chromatography


Ultra-Fast Laser Suite

Fluorescence confocal microscope

One photon microscopy, two photon microscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging


Time-correlated single photon counting

Liquid, solid


Fluorescence upconversion


Materials Lab

FT IR/Raman microscope

Dispersive Raman microscope equipped with an FT IR for sequential analysis at the same spot


Electron spin resonance

X-Band with high temperature, low temperature, high pressure and flow accessories (upgraded in 2016)


Scanning probe microscope

STM, AFM, environmental chamber, electrochemistry and current sensing imaging accessories


X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer

Kratos Supra XPS with Ag, Al, He sources, catalytic cell and crystal cleaver


X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer

Vacuum and He purge available


Dielectric analyzer

Variable temperature and frequency


X-ray excited optical luminescence

Hard X-ray excitation, optical spectrum detection, total intensity detection, high throughput

  • Cisco Canada
  • Potash Corp.
  • Cameco
  • Syncrude
  • Environment Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Canadian Light Source Inc.
  • Shore Gold
  • Milligan Bio-Tech
  • Prairie Tide
  • Veterinary Infectious Diseases Organization
  • Crop Development Centre (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Royal Tyrrell Museum
  • Prairie Malt (Cargill)