Dr Catherine Santai is an Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Program Lead of the Integrative Sciences program at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology. The program utilizes a number of analytical techniques teaching undergraduates about their use, giving them the experience ahead of entering research or industrial roles in later life. So far, the Magritek 60 MHz Spinsolve Benchtop NMR Spectrometer has been used in the Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry laboratory sessions. These provide invaluable hands-on lessons about NMR techniques and analysis of a variety of compounds. NMR is used alongside FTIR (Fourier transfer infrared), AAS (atomic absorption), UV-VIS (ultraviolet – visible) and fluorescence spectroscopies.
Dr Hilde Roex is the co-ordinator of the second year organic chemistry laboratory course of the Chemistry Program (Gasthuisberg campus, Faculty Management & Technology). Here, the students apply NMR in their organic chemistry laboratory to identify the molecular structure of their synthesized products. They are taught to see the value of NMR for quality control and its use alongside other analytical methods including gas and liquid chromatography. Their goal is to be able to interpret proton NMR spectra and to learn that proton NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy are complementary techniques. This helps to make students familiar with NMR showing them applications of its wide use in industry.
Dr Peter Keizers is a scientist in the Centre for Health Protection at RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment based in Bilthoven. As a chemist, he investigates (illegal) drugs, medical devices and other medicinal products. His group studies the composition of these products and specifically look for active pharmaceutical ingredients, preferably in a quantitative way.
HTBLA Wels is a higher technical vocational college of chemistry in Austria. Here, Dr Harald Baumgartner is responsible for the instrumental analytical laboratory. The lab’s main focus is to teach students the basics of NMR (interpretation of spectra).
Dr Baumgartner says “Compared to the old 60 MHz spectrometer, the Magritek Spinsolve benchtop spectrometer is so much easier to use. It is software-based so collecting and processing data is quite straightforward. As well as 1H spectra, our Spinsolve allows us to measure more complex spectra including 13C-spectra. Even 2-dimensional experiments are now available to the students.”
A college student learns about NMR with the Magritek Spinsolve Carbon at HTLBA Wels in Austria
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is formed from the collaboration between Wageningen University and the Wageningen Research foundation. With the mission “to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life,” its staff and students work in the domain of healthy foods and living environments. Dr Teris van Beek is a Lecturer in the Department of Agrotechnology & Food Sciences. Among his responsibilities is the coordination of the undergraduate course in analytical chemistry where 220 molecular life sciences and biotechnology students are introduced to practical spectroscopy each year (UV, IR, MS, NMR, structure elucidation).
Dr Irosha Nawarathne is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Lyon College, a selective liberal arts institution in rural Arkansas. Her work bridges biomedical research to teaching students the practical use of instrumentation to prepare them for employment and the challenges of the chemical industry. She summarizes her experience with the Spinsolve, which was added to the Chemistry Department in 2015:
Spinsolve has become the most popular among faculty and students of our chemistry program. It is used in organic chemistry, instrumental analysis, and advanced inorganic chemistry laboratories. We plan to extend the usage to other areas too. Students have become very interested in the concept of NMR because of this instrument. Their knowledge of NMR is improved tremendously after the incorporation of Spinsolve in the chemistry program. It is easy to operate, provides quick analysis, and requires very low maintenance. Spinsolve is definitely the best fit for a small college like ours. We formerly had a cryogenic NMR spectrometer at Lyon but the chemistry program has not been able to maintain the instrument in the long term. Spinsolve is low cost and its low maintenance is key for its great fit to Lyon chemistry program. It is also used in recruiting keen students as they get really excited about the instrument and its capabilities during frequent campus tours.
Dr Leena Kaisalo heads up the Organic Chemistry student laboratory at the University of Helsinki. While the Laboratory’s research focuses on organic synthesis, Dr Kaisalo’s role is to lead the teaching of bachelor and masters students in various analytical techniques including NMR.
Dr Leena Kaisalo uses her Magritek Spinsolve Benchtop NMR Spectrometer at the University of Helsinki Chemistry Department
Professor Steven Ley’s laboratories are located in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Their research specialises in flow chemistry and organic synthesis. They are renowned for collaborations with academic and industrial partners. Précising their work, Steve says
“Complex synthesis remains a challenging occupation requiring an exceptional level of experimental skill, extensive knowledge of both mechanistic and molecular reactivity, and a bold, inventive, and creative spirit. It is the combination of these qualities that transforms the synthesis process from one of simple logistics to an art form.”
Dr Jeroen Geuens is a member of the Centre of Expertise on Sustainable Chemistry (CESC) based in Antwerp at the Karel de Grote University College. The Centre specialises in research and services related to chemical and production processes together with offering professional degree courses.
Before discovering the Spinsolve benchtop NMR from Magritek they could only get access to NMR measurements by taking their samples to the University of Antwerp. The Spinsolve is now used continuously for both teaching and research in the CESC. Dr Geuens takes up the story.