Automation, Benchtop NMR and Industry

Since it was discovered, the typical trend in NMR Spectroscopy has been towards higher field, evidenced by the rapid replacement of permanent magnets with supercons.[1] Why? Well, NMR Spectroscopy, of course, is one of the most information rich molecular spectroscopic techniques available, providing information of the type of nuclei, the number of those nuclei and even how they’re connected. As you move to higher field you can immediately observe two things: 1) it’s easier to extract the aforementioned information because the resolution is better (i.e., more Hz/ppm dispersion) given the more favourable dispersion and 2) the data has inherently higher signal-to-noise ratio.

Okay, well then it’s not immediately obvious why there would be a renaissance of low-field NMR Spectroscopy. Well it’s as simple as the fact that as you move to higher field the instruments become more expensive and harder to site. This means that there are lots of industries that could benefit from the use of NMR spectrometers in their routine testing, but they just haven’t attempted to validate methods because economically it simply is not feasible.

Enter benchtop NMR. These instruments are affordable, accessible and safer (the 2G stray field is contained inside the enclosure). It has always been our vision here at Nanalysis, not to have benchtop NMR replace the higher field instruments. This simply is not possible. We aim to create an easy-to-use, NMR tool that can be incorporated into analysis via an increased degree of automation and method development. To this end, we released our application programmatic interface, the NMReady-CONNECT, a few years ago and have been working with industrial partners to develop and validate suitable methods so the NMReady can be operated by technicians with no previous NMR experience. Now we are excited to release our autosampler – the AUTOsample-60 to further automate the analytical process!

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The AUTOsample-60 sits on top of the spectrometer, and using a series of automatic controls provides robust, reliable and accurate tube changes. The accessory comes with 2 carousels that can be populated and exchanged on or off the autosampler. Using the onboard software, the user can easily specify whether to perform a typical series of NMR experiments for structural elucidation (e.g., 1D, COSY, HSQC, 13C{1H}) or a series of 1D experiments where the data is automatically saved.

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If you’re interested in method development, QA/QC, the AUTOsample-60 or queuing experiments – reach out to us!

References

[1]Riegel, S. D.; Leskowitz, G. M. Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2016, 83, 27-38