skip to content

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry NMR facility

We provide NMR analytical chemistry services to:

  • Research workers within the department
  • Research workers in other University departments
  • External customers (please contact the NMR Service, who will be able to answer your enquiry)

Equipment

  • 13 high field superconducting magnet systems, with associated hardware, enabling a wide variety of experiments at various field strengths 
  • A separate Solid State NMR facility for the group of Professor Clare Grey  (more information available at the Grey Research Group website)

For more information about the individual instruments and their capabilities, go to the NMR Spectrometers page.

Services and supplies

  • A large range of deuterated solvents and NMR tubes.
  • Other chemicals of use in NMR spectroscopy.  
  • Assistance with basic interpretation of results
  • Tips on how to process your spectra to get the best results
  • Help with TopSpin, planning experiments, setting up the spectrometers, modifying pulse programs, automation, DOSY, NUS, Slice Selective NMR, VT, Kinetics, and much more.

TopSpin 4.x is now supplied free by Bruker for academic use.For new members of the department wishing to get a copy of TopSpin for themselves - please see the instructions available below for getting it installed and using it to process your spectra. We recommend that all users of the NMR facilities view their spectra on a computer in order to extract the most information.

Installation guide - https://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/analytical/nmr/files/topspin4-installation2017-12-22.pdf

Processing with TopSpin, written by Duncan - https://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/analytical/nmr/files/topspin-processing-2016-10-31-handouta.pdf

A Spectrometer Comparison Chart correct from January 2019 can be found at the bottom of the drop down Spectrometers menu - please consult this to ascertain your best route for getting your NMR results!

We are generally always busy, with a lot of samples in the in-tray.  You may receive an email with your data enclosed before your spectra have been checked and your sample is returned.  If you have checked your data personally and are happy with the results please inform us, and we will put your NMR sample tube out to be collected.

As a rule we DO NOT print the spectra out because most of our users are happy with the electronic data, and we are trying to cut down on the amount of paper used in the section.  If you have a reason for requiring the spectra to be printed please inform us by email or in person.

Contact us

For more information on what the spectrometers might do for you, please contact one of the NMR Service staff:

Or email all the NMR team at once using nmr@ch.cam.ac.uk

You can find more information about the NMR Service staff members here. If you have questions about any aspect of the NMR service, email, phone or drop by our office in the basement (Room B28).

We have a twitter account - @camnmrservice - https://twitter.com/camnmrservice/  We will use this for status updates, important news and tips.  Any good questions we get through other channels may well end up here as general information for everyone.  We look forward to receiving your tweets!

Current status

BREAKING NEWS: We have been monitoring the helium boil-off on Laphroaig's 400MHz magnet for some months, and it has now reached a level which is getting critical. This unfortunately means that the magnet will have to be refurbished. This involves de-energising, warming it up and letting the cryogens vent safely. The magnet can then be split and the O-rings replaced. Once this is completed, the magnet can be recooled with nitrogen first, then helium. Finally the magnet is re-energised and the instrument recomissioned. This process commenced on Thursday 14th February, and we hope to have it completed some time around 8th March. Please see Andrew and Duncan for more information about this regrettable but necessary disruption.

Our new 400MHz spectrometer Tobermory is now back in use.  The new Prodigy probe developed a fault with one of the tuning screws, resulting in no capability to tune the X-nuclei. Unfortunately the probe was returned to Bruker in Switzerland for repair on January 3rd. Bruker UK have escalated the priority of the repair and the probe is slated to return in the first week of March. In the meantime a Bruker QNP loan probe has been installed to run an open-access 1H and 13C detected service. The NMRKiosk software has been reconfigured with a new set of experiments and all researchers who had access to B12 and B18 now have access to B25.

The 700MHz spectrometer Arran has had an exchange BOSS III shim coil fitted as the original BOSS II was deemed unrepairable. The initial test of the shims proved succesful, and the instrument test period, during which Duncan set up a few experiments of use to the wider department showed excellent lineshape and sensitivity. Then there was an unfortunate pressure switch fault in the Cryoplatform which has necessitated new partsd being ordered. These will be fitted in the week commencing 18th February. We had a successful test of the 1.3mm CPMAS DVT Solid State probe before the shim fault, which paves the way for some interesting research possibilities. For access to the 700MHz instrument, please liaise with Giuliana Fusco (gf203@cam.ac.uk) from the Dobson Group or the NMR Service staff.

Our 600MHz spectrometer will be being briefly withdrawn from service at intervals during the first quarter of the year so that we can upgrade the automation to the NMRKiosk software. We will also be renaming the spectrometer Oban. This will allow better use of the sample changer and enable the whole department to run their samples. We hope that it will be mainly used for 1H detected experiments to increase the throughput of samples in the department. The instrument will therefore become chargeable in a similar manner to the other open-access spectrometers. Please see Andrew and Duncan in B28 if you have any questions about this spectrometer. We will endeavour to keep the IconNMR submission software in use when we are not working on the system.

The open-access spectrometer Laphroaig in B18 has got an issue with the carbon tuning at the moment.  We have removed all the experiment selections that require this from the NMRKiosk submission PC, and shortened the overnight period on this spectrometer. The overnight period on the other open-access 400MHz instrument Lagavulin has been extended as it will now handle all the experiments that require carbon tuning. Please respect the booking rules during this period of disruption, and think of all the other options available for getting your spectra. The probe is likely to be sent away for repair when the magnet (see above) is refurbished.

All of our other instruments are operational at present, although Cragganmore (Service 400MHz QNP Cryoprobe in B28) is unable to run 19F or 31P spectra until further notice.

Future Developments

We hope to soon rename the 400MHz spectrometer in B13 from Florence to Auchentoshan to standardise the names of all of our spectrometers as Single Malt Scotch Whisky distilleries.

Submission forms for samples for the NMR Service (in PDF and Powerpoint formats) for downloading: