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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Small organic molecules/Reaction Monitoring/Process control/Hands-on Teaching/Food Science/Environmental.....

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy, is a research technique that exploits the magnetic properties of certain atomic nuclei. This type of spectroscopy determines the physical and chemical properties of atoms or the molecules in which they are contained. It relies on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance and can provide detailed information about the structure, dynamics, reaction state, and chemical environment of molecules. The intramolecular magnetic field around an atom in a molecule changes the resonance frequency, thus giving access to details of the electronic structure of a molecule and its individual functional groups.

Most frequently, NMR spectroscopy is used by chemists and biochemists to investigate the properties of organic molecules, although it is applicable to any kind of sample that contains nuclei possessing spin. Suitable samples range from small compounds analyzed with 1-dimensional proton or carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy to large proteins or nucleic acids using 3 or 4-dimensional techniques. The impact of NMR spectroscopy on the sciences has been substantial because of the range of information and the diversity of samples, including solutions and solids.

A 900MHz NMR instrument
with a 21.1 T magnet at
HWB-NMR, Birmingham, UK

The Purcell group at 
Harvard University and the Bloch group at Stanford University independently developed NMR spectroscopy in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Edward Mills Purcell and Felix Bloch shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries.[1]

Basic NMR techniques          - 
Benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer:

A Benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (Benchtop NMR spectrometer) refers to a Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance (FT-NMR) spectrometer that is significantly more compact and portable than the conventional equivalents, such that it is portable and can reside on a laboratory benchtop.
This convenience comes at the cost of lower resolution and decreased sensitivity.
Instead of requiring dedicated infrastructure, rooms and extensive installations,
these instruments can be placed directly on the bench in a lab and moved as necessary
e.g., to the fumehood).
These spectrometers offer improved workflow, even for novice users,
as they are simpler and easy to use.
They differ from 
relaxometers in that they can be used to measure high resolution NMR spectra
and are not limited to the determination of 
relaxation or diffusion parameters (e.g., T1, T2 and D).

Benchtop NMR

NMR spectroscopy can be used for chemical analysis,[6][7] reaction monitoring,[8] and quality assurance/quality control experiments. Higher-field instruments enable unparalleled resolution for structure determination, particularly for complex molecules. Cheaper, more robust, and more versatile medium and low field instruments have sufficient sensitivity and resolution for reaction monitoring and QA/QC analyses.[9] As such permanent magnet technology offers the potential to extend the accessibility and availability of NMR to institutions that do not have access to super-conducting spectrometers (e.g., beginning undergraduates[10] or small-businesses).

Many automated applications utilizing multivariate statistical analyses (chemometrics) approaches to derive structure-property and chemical and physical property correlations between 60 MHz 1H NMR spectra and primary analysis data particularly for petroleum and petrochemical process control applications have been developed over the past decade.[11][12]


Types of Applications in Industry, Education and Research
Small organic molecules
Structure determination
Functional group analysis
Mixture analysis
Chemical environment
Hydrogen bonding
Chemical kinetics
Molecular dynamics
Process control
Quantitation - absolute
Reaction monitoring
Purity monitoring
In-situ monitoring
Particle sizing
Pore size

More Specific Applications
Chemistry education – organic, physical, inorganic, instrumental
Pharmaceutical manufacturing – reaction monitoring, chemometrics
Bench chemistry – structure elucidation, chemical dynamics
Purity of commercial propane
Ethanol in gasoline
Polymer synthesis research
Identifying drugs of abuse
Biofuels manufacturing – Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAMEs)
Beverage manufacturing – alcohol content
Degradation of cooking oils – oxidation processes
Perfume manufacturing – quality control

Today’s Markets for NMR

Graduate & undergraduate universities
Community colleges
Jr. colleges
Organic Chemists in Research and Education


Process control
Reaction monitoring
Quality Control
Analytical lab
Process & Analytical Chemists

Petrochemical & Biofuels

C20-C40 Fraction
Process control
Aliphatic/aromatic ratio
Analytical lab
Process & Analytical Chemists

Chemical Manufacturing
Small organic molecules
Process control
Reaction Monitoring
Analytical lab
Process & Analytical Chemists

Process NMR
Oil and Gas
Food & Beverage
Life Sciences
Metals & Foundry
Mining & Minerals
Water & Utilities
Process & Analytical Chemists


Related Application Notes:


  (i) impurity profiles; 
(ii) composition (e.g., composite β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor antibiotics);
(iii) metabolic products in bodily fluids; 
(iv) reaction monitoring/kinetic profiling etc.

Quantification of Composite β-lactam/β-lactamase Antibiotics (2015, 5MB)
-  Automatic, High-Thoroughput Data Processing: Illustrated through NSAIDs (2016, 3MB)

Reaction Monitoring/Process Analytical Technology (PAT)

  (i) Automatically or manually understand and optimize chemical reactions in real time
(ii) Improve reaction yield and safety 
(iii) Automate repeated syntheses 
(iv) Integrate the NMReady a centralized control system or Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

- Detection by Online Benchtop NMR Spectroscopy: Hydrogenation Reactions(2017, 600KB)

- 'Continuous-flow synthesis of fluorine-containing fine chemicals with integrated benchtop NMR analysis' Reaction Chemistry & Engineering(March 2017)
- Process NMR - Developments in Benchtop NMR as a Process Analytical Technology(PAT)

Polymer Research

  (i)  observe reaction completeness & uniformity;
(ii) qualify the relative composition of the structural components;
(iii) quantify the relative percentage of structural isomers;
(iv) observe the presence of stereoisomers and determine polymeric tacticity; and
(v) determine molecular weight (MW), molecular number (Mn) and polydispersity index (PDI).

Block Co-polymer Characterization(2013, 2MB)

Biodiesel Research

  As biodiesel is formed through a simple transesterification, it is easily monitored and characterized by NMR Spectroscopy.
This analytical technique allows easy, non-destructive evaluation of many of the components regulated in biodiesel standardization (e.g., water, alcohol, phosphorous, and glycerol content).
Subsequently, the NMReady could be easily incorporated into characterization to improve workflow.
NMR Spectroscopy can be used to quantify the percentage of biodiesel in composite fuel mixture.

Biodiesel spectrum generated

-  Biodiesel spectrum related blog

Hands-on Teaching for Undergraduate Labs

  Educational curricula trends are shifting towards hands-on, guided-inquiry approaches that help students obtain meaningful learning.
As chemistry laboratories provide the perfect opportunity for students to supplement cognitive learning with psychomotor skills, an increasing number of analytical characterization techniques have been incorporated into procedures (e.g., UV-Vis, IR).
Even though NMR is the most commonly used characterization technique in inorganic and organic chemistry, it is usually the least available to undergraduate students.
As the biggest restriction to including NMR spectroscopy in laboratories is the limited accessibility of high-field NMR, the NMReady provides an easy solution.
It is compact, portable and easy-to-use. Moreover, it does not require weekly maintenance and is designed to minimize damage occurred by broken NMR tubes.

- More teaching applications

- Sample experiments

- Feedback video

- Academic brochure

Food Science

  Relaxometry has long been used in food science to determine the solid fat content (SFC), moisture content etc.. Not only can the NMR perform these fundamental experiments, but, in addition, the option to measure high-resolution 1D 1H NMR acquisition can provide additional invaluable information through speciation (e.g., amount of saturated and unsaturated fats, cis/trans olefin conformations, % carbohydrates). qNMR QA/QC methods are also possible to validate product claims (e.g., carbohydrate content, alcohol percentage, authenticity of the sample or the presence of adulterants).

Detection of Soybean Adulteration in Olive Oil(2014, 7 MB)

Fish Oil Supplements(2015, 9MB)


  NMR methods can be useful in quantifying and speciating dissolved organic matter in earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and soil (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene & xylene (BTEX), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE).

Spectra Overview

1H Spectra/11B Spectra/13C Spectra/19F Spectra/31P Spectra/2D Spectra

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