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How to Evaluate a Benchtop NMR Instrument’s Technical Performance Part 4: 13C Sensitivity

July 17th, 2019, by

After 1H, 13C is easily the next most important nuclide in the NMR periodic table; 13C measurements can provide a wealth of valuable structural info. Unfortunately, with a receptivity that is around 5,500 smaller than that of 1H, 13C is a much less sensitive nuclide. This lower sensitivity demands the maximum performance from the NMR spectrometer to keep the measurement times and sample concentration within practical limits. Since 13C NMR has the reputation to be challenging even for high field spectrometers, people tend to think that only overnight experiments can be performed on bench top systems. In the first example below we want to show you that even at frequencies like 43, 60 or 80 MHz high quality 13C spectra can be acquired in a single scan. If your goal is to teach the principles of 13C NMR to students, it is worth knowing that good 13C NMR spectra can be acquired on concentrated organic liquid samples in just under a minute. Moreover students can collect a whole set of powerful multidimensional heteronuclear experiments in well under an hour. The spectrum below of neat propylbenzoate could serve as a useful example for teaching 13C NMR in an educational environment.

Figure1: 1D 13C NMR spectra of neat Propylbenzoate acquired with a single scan (blue), 4 scans (green) and 16 (red) scans totalling 5, 20 and 80 seconds of acquisition time respectively.

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DEA awards contract to Magritek Inc. to supply 80 MHz benchtop NMR spectrometers complete with autosamplers for forensic applications.

December 5th, 2018, by

Malvern, PA, USA, 4th December 2018: Magritek announces that it has been awarded a major contract by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for two Spinsolve 80 Carbon benchtop NMR spectrometers. The purchase was made through a competitive award process and will allow DEA laboratories in Virginia and California to utilize the latest benchtop NMR technology to assist in forensic analysis applications.

Speaking about this prestigious award, Magritek Inc’s CEO, Dr Hector Robert, says

“We are very excited to be awarded this contract by the DEA. The selection of the 80 MHz Spinsolve instrument with 1H, 19F and 13C nuclei provides a versatile system suited to the analysis of many substances studied in forensic science. The systems are supplied with autosamplers which enable the measurement of multiple samples with an automated and efficient workflow.”

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Benchtop NMR characterisation of diethyl phthalate containing land leeches repellent

June 18th, 2019, by

In Vietnam, for the observation of animals in the jungle of the national park of Cat Tien (and in other parts of the country and in Asia), the rangers give the tourists leech socks and a repellent cream for land leeches to put on the socks. Land leeches are terrestrial blood-sucking worm-like parasites. Reading the cream container, I noticed that it contains diethyl phthalate (DEP). Out of curiosity, I dissolved some of the cream in CDCl3 and acquired a NMR spectrum with the Spinsolve 80 MHz benchtop NMR spectrometer.

The 1D 1H spectrum confirms that the cream is mainly composed of diethyl phthalate (Fig. 1, a). A zoom of the spectrum (Fig. 1, b) shows the presence of some additional compounds overlapping with the 13C satellite peaks of DEP (0.55% of the main peaks). To simplify the identification of the additional compounds present in the cream I acquired a 1D 1H spectrum using the carbon decoupling protocol available in the Spinsolve software (Fig. 1, c). This method removes the satellites from the spectra making it possible to detect compounds dissolved at concentration smaller than 1% with respect to DEP.

Typical excipients used in such creams are fatty acid mixtures from butter and/or oils, glycerol/glycine, alcohol (multiplet ~ 3.5 ppm, CH2-OH) and PEG based compounds (peak ~ 3.6 ppm) and even perfume(s).

In our case, the fatty acid peaks are easily recognized. The terminal methyl of fatty acids is observed in region F around 0.8 ppm, the aliphatic chain in region E and probably under the CH3 of DEP, and the olefinic protons of saturated fatty acids around 5.2 ppm in the region A. As no signal is observed around 2.8 ppm, the saturated fatty acids present in the cream are mono unsaturated. The singlet at 2.47 ppm (singlet C) could be a residual solvent like DMSO or 1,3-dioxan, common solvents contaminating cosmetic cream. To check this hypothesis, ~ 2 µL of solvent was added. If the cream contains the solvent, the integral of peak C would increase, but in our case new peaks were observed (data not show). Region B correspond to a CH3 group next to a (mono or di) substituted aliphatic. The area D could be a triplet with a J coupling of 7 Hz. These peaks probably belong to a perfume, where the additional peaks of the perfume molecule overlap with peaks of DEP.

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Spinsolve 80 Phosphorus – Limit of Detection

May 29th, 2019, by

The best-selling Magritek 80 MHz Spinsolve benchtop NMR is also available with the X-channel set to 31-Phosphorus.  31P NMR spectroscopy is routinely used by chemists to determine structure and measure impurities.  When looking for impurities it is important to know the lower limit of detection (LOD). The LOD is the lowest concentration of a molecule that can be distinguished from the absence  of that molecule.

In NMR it is the sensitivity that determines the  LOD for a particular substance, and the higher magnetic field of an 80 MHz magnet brings a number of advantages including increased sensitivity.  We thought it would be interesting to determine the LOD for tetramethylphosphonium chloride with different acquisition times.  We defined the LOD as an NMR peak with signal height that was 3 times the noise level, i.e. an SNR of 3.


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Introducing the new Spinsolve Autosampler

February 18th, 2019, by

We are very excited to announce the launching of our new Spinsolve Autosampler.  It enables up 20 separate samples to be measured in any order and can be fitted to all Spinsolve models.  We have been developing this for some time, and already have quite a number of units with some of our reference customers who tell us they are delighted with its operation, functionality and high quality construction.

The Autosampler is particularly useful for customers who often have a series of samples to run on their benchtop NMR and want to save the hassle of having to keep coming back to exchange samples. Another benefit is the ability to increase utilization by setting up a queue of experiments to run on their Spinsolve overnight.

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