Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility A state of the art centre for studying molecular structure to support industrial innovation.

NMR Facility

The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility in the University of Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry is the best-equipped NMR centre in Scotland and one of the best in the UK.

The facility has a unique combination of equipment and expertise that provides effective solutions to clients within many sectors, such as chemical, pharmaceutical, food & drink, environment and manufacturing.

This flexible, bespoke and extensive service is underpinned by world class research and expertise, and supported by Edinburgh Research & Innovation’s business team to help find solutions to all your requirements.

  • An 800 MHz NMR spectrometer, featuring one of the strongest magnets commercially available, offers the highest resolution and sensitivity for analysis of small and large molecules.
  • A high throughput service, underpinned by cryoprobe technology, increased sensitivity and large sample capacity, provides cheaper and faster solution to your problems.
  • Unique capacity for in situ monitoring of fast reactions and analysis by NMR and IR spectroscopy.
  • Our experts will design experiments and customise techniques to best meet to the bespoke needs of our clients.
  • Our flexible approach provides access to the facilities for client companies, who can be trained to use the facility and use it on a drop in basis, saving time and minimising scheduling requirements.
“The flexibility of the systems at Edinburgh allows us to perform the most complex NMR experiments currently available on the most difficult of samples.”

How can NMR help you?

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is an extremely powerful technique for investigating the structure of chemical species, by the radio-frequency interrogation of the sample held in a powerful magnetic field.

NMR is a sophisticated and powerful analytical tool and has found extensive use within the chemical, pharmaceutical, food & drink, environment and manufacturing industries, including:

  • Research & development
  • Problem solving
  • Process development
  • Quality control

All our NMR spectrometers can perform a wide range of sophisticated experiments required for structure determination of small molecules and biomolecules, such as:

  • Characterisation of small organic molecules and inorganic complexes.
  • Characterisation of biomacromolecules, such as proteins, DNA and polysaccharides.
  • Studies of drug-protein interactions
  • Analysis of complex mixtures, such as biofluids, food and beverages, soil, water, oil, etc.
“The University of Edinburgh has always been good at high field NMR work. It’s not just the instrumentation; it’s the expertise in the group which is essential for the interpretation the data.”

Facility and equipment

Our range of NMR spectrometers offer a unique combination of high through-put capability and in situ assembly of fast reactions and analysis using NMR and Infrared (IR) spectroscopy.

The facility houses six NMR spectrometers operating at 1H and 13C resonance frequencies, ranging from 400 MHz to 800 MHz, one of the strongest, highest resolution, magnets commercially available.

This combination of equipment allows the team to determine the most appropriate spectrometer required to meet the resolution and sensitivity requirements, especially where smaller amounts of materials are available for analysis.

All our spectrometers are equipped with latest generation of BRUKER consoles and can perform a wide range of sophisticated experiments required for structural studies. They are equipped with sample changers and operate round the clock, performing multidimensional experiments.

Besides the standard 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, we carry out experiments involving other active nuclei, such as 2H, 7Li, 11B, 15N, 19F, 31P, 119Cd, 196Pt and many others. Depending on the molecules under analysis, a different active nuclei can provide further insight into the structural features of the molecule.

The facility also has a 60 MHz 1H benchtop NMR spectrometer that can be loaned to companies for short periods of time for on-site testing and development with assistance from a member of staff to set up and plan the analysis required.

Reaction monitoring service

We provide in situ reaction monitoring through the use of a unique bespoke designed, specialist equipment that involves NMR, IR and Ultra-Violet (UV) spectroscopy, using stopped-flow techniques.

A 400MHz NMR spectrometer, is equipped with a custom-built stop flow module that produces homogeneous solutions in precise thermostatted volumes in under 150 msec. This allows the monitoring and recording of reactions under NMR analysis significantly faster than standard reaction monitoring by NMR, which is valuable where the reaction is as important as the result.

This laboratory is unique in the UK in its broad-spectrum ability to analyse the mechanism of organic reactions that are of importance as synthetic processes. Our unique service is augmented by our extensive expertise and experience in kinetic simulation, use of isotopes, and analysis of stereochemistry and reaction mechanism.

We have provided clients with the ability to

  • Identify of intermediates
  • Determine activation parameters
  • Determine kinetic orders
  • Conduct sequential titrations / stoichiometries
  • Assess catalytic activities.
“These facilities enable new experimental approaches to rapidly interrogate chemical reactions, and their corresponding mechanisms, to generate a wealth of valuable information in a short space of time.”

Expert Technical Support

Our team of NMR experts can advise on the best approach to solving a particular chemical or biological problem, acquiring one or multi-dimensional NMR spectra using a wide range of NMR techniques.

The team has extensive experience in molecular structure and dynamics, carbohydrate structure, protein-carbohydrate interactions, analysis of complex mixtures, NMR pulse sequence development, reaction mechanism, kinetics, isotopic labelling and design of pulse sequences tailored for particular systems-specific problems.

We also…

  • Provide training for clients to use the facility on a drop in basis, saving time and maximising sample turnover.
  • Share our pool of experimental techniques to enhance performance of your existing or planned in-house NMR facility.
  • Collaborate on research projects where the expertise of an NMR specialist is required.
| Dr Lorna Murray - NMR Facility Technician | Prof Guy Lloyd Jones - Reaction mechanism Facility |
| Dr Dusan Uhrin - Head of NMR Facility | Dr Juraj Bella - NMR Facility Manager |

Expert business support for industry

Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI), the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation and industry engagement arm, works closely with industry partners to match your specific needs to appropriate academic expertise, intellectual property and state-of-the-art research facilities & equipment via a range of industry engagement activities.

We want our industry partners to view ERI as their ‘one-stop shop’ for access to the University of Edinburgh’s world class research and facilities, knowing that engaging with us provides you with the bigger picture.

We seek to understand your business, learning about the innovation challenges facing your organisation, and help you establish what will hopefully be a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership going forward.

“The support we’ve received from ERI has been excellent and has been a significant contributing factor in our growth so far. Our increased valuation and market traction are a direct results of our engagement with ERI.”
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