When it comes to some applications – like academic teaching for example – the addition of a hands-on access to an NMR spectrometer directly in the lab is very attractive, but the added costs and/or hassle of consumables like deuterated solvents may not be.
Why are deuterated solvents used? Well, basically because the use of deuterated solvents give “prettier” and potentially easier to interpret spectra (in terms of peak overlap, carbon satellites, and other artifacts). Deuterium is an easy way to lock the field and make your solvent (which is in a much higher concentration than your analyte) virtually invisible in the 1H NMR spectrum. However, most modern electronics are made to account for problems in dynamic range, and typically if the proteo solvent resonance isn’t directly over top of the peaks of interest, we can still see what you need to for the spectrum.
So although the use of deuterated solvents remains the most common sample preparation method, it is not vital to acquire NMR data on a benchtop NMR spectrometer like the NMReady-60e. As these instruments begin to address non-traditional markets like academic teaching and/or process control the use of deuterated solvents may not always be feasible.
Currently useful no-D 1H spectra can be obtained in two ways:
1) Neat liquid analytes
2) Analytes in proteo solvents
Example 1: toluene, isopropanol and diethylphthalate
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Example 2: Analytes in CHCl3: trans-ethyl cinnamate, palm oil
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