Isomers: More Student Teaching Lab Manuals

We have developed two documents which show how the Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectrometer can be used in Chemistry Education to introduce students to NMR. In these laboratories students measure the 1D proton NMR spectra of isomers of C4H8O2: ethyl acetate, butyric acid and isobutyric acid.


The first experiment, Distinguishing between the isomers of C4H8O2, is aimed at students who have very recently been introduced to NMR spectroscopy and encourages them to use the concepts they learn in class to think about the structure of the molecule and predict how the spectrum will look. The second experiment, Identification of the isomers of C4H8O2, is a more advanced experiment using the same spectra where students determine the structure of the molecule with only the 1D proton NMR spectrum.

Ethyl acetate example:


Position Integration Splitting Chemical Shift
1 2 Three nearest neighbours that are equivalent – quartet Single bond to oxygen – deshielded
2 3 Two nearest neighbours that are equivalent – triplet Saturated alkyl group far from ester group – shielded
2′ 3 No nearest neighbours – singlet Adjacent to the carbon of a carbonyl – slightly deshielded

A list of all available Student Teaching Lab Manuals can be found here.

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Bertram works as Senior Applications Engineer for Magritek in Wellington. He gained his PhD under the supervision of Paul Callaghan and has been working in the field of NMR technology for over 20 years. 86 Posts