A regionally strategic NMR spectrometer with globally unique high pressure and reaction monitoring capability

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most useful methods for studying the structures and behaviours of molecules, and is of critical importance both in understanding the world around us and in developing new technologies. It is a powerful tool for determining the structures of pure compounds, the characteristics and composition of materials, and for monitoring chemical reactions.

Chemists, and materials and life scientists, fight a continual battle to extract qualitative and quantitative information from the increasingly complex fruits of their research. The utility of NMR spectrometers has made them ubiquitous in chemistry departments. However, as more and more complex problems are tackled, extracting the chemical information needed is becoming increasingly difficult with standard NMR instrumentation. Many spectra are either too complex to analyse, with too many overlapped signals, or have signal strengths below the detection limit.

A new high sensitivity, high resolution NMR spectrometer is urgently needed in Manchester to support advances in the physical sciences. The instrument will operate at a 1H frequency of 700 MHz, giving very high resolution, and will be equipped with a liquid helium-cooled probe, giving very high sensitivity and a low limit of detection for liquid samples. It will also have the capability to study a wide range of nuclei in the solid state. The spectrometer will be integratable into a high pressure system that flows chemical reaction mixtures through the instrument, allowing reactant and product concentrations to be measured in real time and providing unique access to information about high pressure reaction behaviour.

The instrument will underpin a broad range of research areas including Catalysis, Chemical Reaction Dynamics and Mechanisms, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Synthetic Supramolecular Chemistry, Polymer Materials, Energy Storage, Functional Ceramics and Inorganics, Nuclear Fission, Synthetic Coordination Chemistry, Synthetic Biology, and Chemical Biology and Biological Chemistry.

The proposed spectrometer will provide regionally strategic capabilities - high sensitivity and high resolution, optimised for chemical applications - and underpin and complement EPSRC facilities and high field NMR instrumentation nationally.


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Seed JA (2022) A Series of Rare-Earth Mesoionic Carbene Complexes. in Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

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Taylor DA (2021) SABRE-enhanced real-time pure shift NMR spectroscopy. in Magnetic resonance in chemistry : MRC

Description The UK Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation Magic Angle Spinning NMR Facility
Amount £2,867,300 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/W021463/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2022 
End 04/2027