Liquid NMR

Liquid-state The NMR method works by putting a magnetic field around a sample of molecules that have been dissolved in a deuterated solvent. This locks the field so that it stays the same for the whole experiment. One or more of the instruments on this page are being affected by the lack of helium. See which instruments are affected by scrolling down.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful way to analyze something and find out about its size and shape. NMR can be used to look at both mixtures and pure compounds, giving back spectra that are full of chemical information. Targeted or untargeted experiments can be done with NMR, and the technique’s high level of automation makes it useful for high-throughput studies. Statistical methods can be used to pull out key features that help distinguish between sample groups. In our experiment, we use Nuclear Spin-induced Optical Rotation (NSOR), which is the way the nuclear spins in a liquid sample cause the polarisation of a laser beam to change.


Continuous-wave and pulsed or Fourier-Transform are the two types of NMR spectrometers.

NMR is often used in metabolomics research, and it gives information that is very useful when combined with other well-known methods like mass spectrometry. NMR is often used by EMSL to study the metabolism of bacteria, fungi, and plants. Key features include:

  • High resolution and high sensitivity, which gives both one-dimensional and multidimensional data for biological samples. The biologically important nuclei are the proton (1H), carbon (13C), nitrogen (15N), and phosphorus (P) (31P). NMR spectroscopy can identify isomers and make it easier to figure out what something is.
  • The Chenomx software can identify and measure a wide range of metabolites by fitting one-dimensional proton NMR spectra to the Chenomx spectral database. The Human Metabolome Database and custom metabolite standards were used to identify more metabolites.
  • An EMSL-developed spectral database that allows simultaneous querying of multiple orthogonal data sources, such as NMR and MS, to expand and confirm metabolite identifications in the complex metabolite mixtures that are typical of environmental (eco-metabolomics) and other biological samples.
  • Automation for a high number of samples.

Type of radiation used in NMR spectroscopy:

Radiofrequency waves

NMR uses a big magnet to look at the way atomic nuclei spin on their own. NMR is a type of spectroscopy that, like all spectroscopies, uses a part of electromagnetic radiation to help nuclear energy levels change.

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