Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory

The Chemistry Centre Magnetic Resonance (C2MR) Facility is the University of Alberta’s Core NMR Facility equipped with twelve state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers, ranging from 300 to 800 MHz (7.05 to 18.8 T).  Users encompass all experience levels from undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, research associates and post-doctoral fellows across the province.  All have direct and frequent access to a 300, four 400's, three 500's, two 600’s, a 700, and a new 800 MHz (2023) spectrometers for liquids (eight options) and solids (five options, see below).  The new CFI funded 800 NMR instrument is broadly equipped to perform the most advanced liquid- and solid-state NMR experiments capable of probing nearly any element on the periodic table.  These capabilities enable elucidation of the chemical structure and dynamics faced within the central science, including molecular, biomolecular, and material science problems.

Helium cryogenically cooled liquids NMR probes provide dramatic signal improvements, with room temperature probes supporting additional capabilities.  In addition to the 800 capabilities, the facility has cryogenically cooled probes for the 700, and two 500 MHz instruments.  One 500 MHz instrument is outfitted with a 13C specifically optimized cryogenically cooled probe for outstanding carbon detection.  The 700 has an ultra-high sensitivity cryogenically cooled probe optimizing 1H detection.  Newly installed is a broadband nitrogen-cooled probe for our other 500 liquid spectrometers.  Many instruments host robotic sample handling systems for extended hours of operation without user presence, with instruments accessible 24/7/365.  Department members can reserve most instruments far in advance via our web-based reservation system.

All NMR spectrometers are multi-channel instruments capable of shaped pulses for selective excitation, pulsed field gradients, and temperature control to acquire any modern NMR experiments.  One-dimensional experiments for an extremely wide range of nuclei are available (e.g., 1H, 13C, 11B, 31P, and "exotic nuclei" such as 2H, 29Si, 89Y, 195Pt, etc.) also special or unusual techniques and variable temperature studies.  All highly utilized multi-dimensional/multi-nuclear experiments, such as COSY, ROESY, TOCSY, NOESY, HSQC, HMBC, etc., are available, and experiments are pre- or self-optimizing and often available to the end user via a single click in a customized, user-friendly computer environment.  Spectrometers and data stations are fully networked and highly integrated, and acquired data sets are centrally stored, archived, and can be accessed and processed throughout the Department, including via personal computers.  NMR systems utilize many locally developed additions, to ensure the most efficient use of instrument time and enable the instrument operation with minimal user training.

A small but dedicated staff is present to assist users and maintain the NMR facility.  The NMR support group also provides services to researchers needing help performing their measurements or requiring special techniques.

Users external to the Department of Chemistry can also access the services of the NMR facility with fees for cost recovery.  Services provided by the NMR support group include, but are not limited to, routine experiments, long acquisitions on sample-limited solutions, and customized experiments for unique projects.

In addition to the 800 solids capabilities, four additional solid-state NMR spectrometers (300, 400, 500, and 600 MHz) are available, offering a wide range of experiments, including magic-angle spinning (1.3 to 7 mm options), broadband double- and triple-resonance experiments, non-spinning dynamics, high-temperature laser probe, and variable temperature. The 600 MHz solids instrument is also equipped with a 395 GHz gyrotron offering high field dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) for vastly improved signal, dramatically reducing sample acquisition times, and allowing the acquisition of samples otherwise unobtainable.  A benchtop 9 GHz electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer is also available to look at organic radicals and paramagnetic metals in liquids and solids.