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Welcome to the Yusuf Hamied 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 Facility team, who will be able to answer your enquiry)

Equipment

  • 12 high field superconducting magnet systems, with associated hardware, enabling a wide variety of experiments at various field strengths 
  • There is 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 are available to vend from our new Merck vending machine in B25
  • Other solvents and chemicals of use in NMR spectroscopy can be obtained from the team in B28
  • 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. New members of the department wishing to get a copy of TopSpin for themselves should 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 for installing the latest version of Bruker's software TopSpin 4.x  - TopSpin 4.x installation guide - March 26th 2020

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 for 2022 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 have minimised the amount of paper used in the facility.  If you have a reason for requiring the spectra to be printed please inform us by email, on the submission form or by telephoning the NMR team.

Contact us

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

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

Email sample submission forms to nmr-submission@ch.cam.ac.uk for all users.

Email consumables requisition forms to nmr-consumables@ch.cam.ac.uk for anything not stocked in the Merck vending machine in B25.

You can find more information about the NMR Facility staff members here. If you have questions about any aspect of the NMR Facility, email nmr@ch.cam.ac.uk or phone 36397. We can usually be found in Room B28 in the basement NMR corridor but we will restrict the number of people in the room until the pandemic ends.

We have a twitter account - @camnmrservice - https://twitter.com/camnmrservice/  We will use this for status updates, important news and chat (which as it is French for cat also includes cats!!) as we don't take ourselves too seriously!  We look forward to receiving your tweets and likes!

Current status

Open-access shuffle: The 700MHz instrument retired from general open-access usage in December 2021 and the TXO cryoprobe is soon to be re-installed and tested for use by trained NMR users who previously used the 500MHz TCI cryoprobe in Glenlivet. We are just waiting for Bruker to investigate the continuing helium pressure issues before we restart this cryoprobe. Glenlivet will have a room temperature probe installed and will soon be re-purposed as an open-access instrument running NMRKiosk once our probes are repaired by Bruker. Also in B19, Glengrant now sports the SampleXpress Lite sample changer that once was atop the 600MHz before it was decommissioned. This allows all our trained users the option to run multiple samples without intervention, for example during the overnight period.

All the spectrometers and submission PC's in the facility are now upgraded to Windows 10 to meet IT security restrictions required by the Computer Officers.

The Merck vending machine for NMR consumables is now operational and can be found in B25 with Lagavulin and Tobermory. All groups should be in possession of their key fobs and tags to withdraw items at any time the department is open. Any issues with non-vends of items should be reported to the NMR team. We are currently working towards getting a suitable level of buffer stock to cope with all eventualities as well as improving the reliability of the vend process for CDCl3 bottles.

Please see our Working in NMR and COVID-19 page available by clicking the tab at the top of all pages for full details and information, including our updated NMR Users Guide!

You MUST submit a signed (electronically or physically) and dated copy of our NMR Risk Assessment form before you can use ANY of our services. This includes consumable ordering or submitting samples to the NMR Service. See below for a copy.

The analytical backup server has all the NMR data you need on it, as well as useful files and software. Full instructions on how to connect to our "NMRarchives" and "NMRshares" shares are available on the Data page.

Future Developments

Upgrading of the NMR UPS to allow greater capacity and run time in the event of a power failure is now complete. This has enabled the Grey Group DNP and any future solid-state installation to be integrated into the UPS without compromising the protection for the solution-state equipment. We also see a hugely increased run time in the event of a power failure which adds more resilience to the facility, making it possible to perform controlled shutdowns of cryoprobes if the disruption is forecast to persist. This project has been overseen by Duncan and our thanks go to him for keeping the whole thing on track!

The Helium Recovery system should shortly go out to tender and will be a major project in the medium term that will save money and be a sustainable development that the department can be proud of.

Automated test procedures that can be run quite frequently are soon to be deployed on the automated systems. This will utilise the POISE routine as modified by Duncan to detect a number of different issues with the spectrometer hardware before they become apparent to users. This will be a major step forward in preventative maintenance to improve the reliability of the open-access NMR instruments.

More video training guides will be produced to aid trained users carry out advanced experiments themselves. Setting up DOSY experiments and multiple water suppression techniques are just two areas to be covered. Other website improvements will start to be implemented to allow users to find more information and training resources without having to ask the NMR Facility team.

Streamlined administration of the facility continues to be worked on, with use of advanced features of Excel to speed up the production of internal charges. Direct recharging of vended consumables by the finance team will reduce the burden on the NMR team and allow us to spend more time on training and advanced support. Better presentation of reports and monthly statements will allow PI's to see how their groups are using the facility and consumable purchases as well as making it easier to satisfy grant audits from funding bodies.

The NMR team continue to liaise with the Senior Management Team in Chemistry to develop their medium term plan for instrument upgrades and infrastructure changes.

Forms

Submission forms to submit samples for the NMR Service from January 2022 are available for downloading:

Consumables requisition forms for withdrawal of specialised deuterated solvents and tubes from January 2022 are available for downloading below (note that most common solvents, tubes and tube caps are available in the vending machine):

NMR Covid-19 specific risk assessment for downloading, signing and return:

Before any research worker (including Part III students) uses any of our facility services, including service sample submission and consumables requests, they must download, read, sign and date, then return the risk assessment (preferably as a PDF) to nmr@ch.cam.ac.uk. Please contact us on that email address if you have any questions or comments about this.