Benchtop NMR in University Chemistry Laboratories (LP)

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Benchtop NMR in University Chemistry Laboratories – bringing NMR to both Research and Teaching applications

Benchtop NMR technology is being adopted in a wide range of applications in academia.   In our newsletter, we introduce you to some of the work going on chemistry laboratories around the world – both for research and teaching applications.

Reaction monitoring with NMR at the University of Glasgow

Professor Lee Cronin holds the Regius Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow. Research in the Cronin Group is motivated by a fascination for complex chemical systems and the desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures that are not based on biologically derived building blocks. They are developing a new approach to the chemical sciences which they call Chemical Cybernetics. This combines robotics, algorithms, flow chemistry and reaction programming. Over a number of years, Professor Cronin and his colleagues have integrated a range of techniques to explore chemical reaction systems. For example, great insight into the chemistry can be gained by networking flow systems to include mass spectrometry, IR, UV and NMR.

Cronin Carbon System

With the recent advent of benchtop NMR, and having been inspired by previous self-optimised flow systems with in-line analytical monitoring, the Cronin Group has now extended this concept so that multinuclear and 2D NMR can be performed in the fume hood. The Magritek Spinsolve benchtop NMR provides analyses ranging from a single sample in a standard 5 mm NMR tube, to performing in-line 1H, 13C, 19F and 2D NMR analyses. They have also combined in-line 1H NMR with computational techniques to make a self-optimising reactor. They have taken their benchtop NMR system and created a flow system which operates using non-deuterated solvents, and uses nothing more than simple plastic tubing. Learn more…


Portable NMR at the University of Queensland

Dr Philip Sharpe is a teaching-focused academic in the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland, Australia. His active research interests are in the field of chemistry education, particularly student learning within the laboratory environment. His goal is to remove the barriers that hinder student success in the laboratory, and to provide situations that allow students to maximize their learning.

As the academic in charge of the first year chemistry laboratory, Dr Sharpe is making real analytical techniques available to young undergraduates, where previous students may have had to rely on theory lessons and the use of data generated at remote laboratories.   Now the students generate real data themselves, in the same lab where they have synthesised their product.

UQ Trolley

Dr Sharpe has implemented a simple, novel and practical idea. He has his Spinsolve on a trolley which enables him to go from the second floor first year labs up to the fourth floor Advanced Teaching Laboratory and the fifth floor laboratory for second and third year students. This flexibility is great. The students really feel they can now embrace NMR as a usable technique rather than another mystical tale from the chemistry text books. Read more and watch a video about Phil’s work.

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