Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Center

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, or NMR, is a technique used to characterize molecules we synthesize and isolate from complex natural extracts. It is much more than one method, as it offers a dizzying array of experiments that allow structure determination, characterization of clusters and polymers, measurement of dynamics and kinetics and elucidation of reactivity. Familiarity with NMR is important for almost all academic and industrial jobs in chemistry. The facility is located in room 33N of the Chemistry-Physics Building.
The facility currently includes 5 instruments. In addition, there are data stations for offline processing of NMR data. Two high-resolution 400 MHz instruments are available for characterization of small molecules using all routine solution methods and a variety of nuclei. One 400 MHz spectrometer is maintained with the probe quadruply-tuned for 1H, 19F, 31P and 13C. The other is automatically tuned to accommodate spectroscopy of other nuclei. A 600 MHz high-resolution instrument is equipped for work on proteins and other macromolecules. An additional robotic 500 MHz high-resolution spectrometer serves our large undergraduate courses. 

Listing of Instruments:

  • 400 MHz Bruker Avance NEO (equipped with a Smart Probe) aquired in 2018
  • 400 MHz Varian 400-MR (equipped with a ATB Probe) aquired in 2008
  • 400 MHz Varian Inova (equipped with a 4Nuc Probe) acquired in 1999
  • 500 MHz JEOL ECZr (equipped with a Royal Probe) aquired in 2016
  • 600 MHz Varian Inova (equipped with a BioProbe) aquired in 2000

Who's Who in the NMR Lab

Day to day operations of the NMR facility are overseen by full time spectroscopist Dr. Justin Mobley. Dr. Mobley can usually be found in rooms 33 (NMR) or 144 of the Chemistry/Physics Building. Dr. Mobley maintains the instruments and provides individual instruction so that students who are beginning their research can learn to operate all of the NMR spectrometers in a matter of weeks. Additionally, Mr. Taylor Varner is the current NMR Center Manager TA. Mr. Varner aids undergraduate and graduate level courses which use NMR spectroscopy. Mr. Varner also assists with NMR maintenance and training courses.

The NMR center management understands that mistakes happen to the best of us. However any user who fails to report a problem IMMEDIATELY or who conceals damage or errors of any kind can loose access to NMR center instrumentation. If you encounter trouble, contact Dr. Mobley as soon as possible. ALSO leave a note on the keyboard of the affected spectrometer to prevent further use until the malfunction is resolved.

Dr. Mobley is the director of the NMR facility. Contact him by email if you need help, or if you are interested in more advanced NMR experiments such as 2D NMR (see below). If there is a malfunction in the NMR center and you are unable to find Dr. Mobley, contact Mr. Varner.

Outside Users

We offer several different options for researchers outside the university to use our facilities. For more information please contact Dr. Mobley.


Mandatory initial training is provided by Dr. Mobley and Mr. Daniel. Dr. Mobley also provides assistance in collection of high-quality data, interpretation of spectra, the execution of high- and low-temperature experiments, and collection of spectra of exotic nuclei. For general training and future access to the NMR center, please click here. For designation as a "skilled user," and future access to GORT in room CP-29, please click here. Please allow at least 3 full days notice on all such requests, however a one week notice is appreciated.  

Reserving Instrument Time

While the new Bruker NMR fully automated and is first come first serve, time on the other NMRs can be reserved through the FACES Scheduling System. Please use the group name UKNMR along with your username and password. For long-block use please contact Dr. Mobley.

Learning More

CHE 555, taught by Prof. Miller, introduces users to the 15 of the most useful NMR experiments.
In addition, users wishing to collect 2D spectra and execute advanced experiments are always welcome to contact Dr. Mobley.
The department also maintains a modest but perfectly serviceable X-band electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer (EPR).

Free NMR Processing Software

There are several free NMR processing software options for academic users. Users are encouraged to use these applications to process their data on their personal and/or lab computers. Additionally, users may use a copy of Mnova located on the processing computer in the NMR Center. However, please note that Dr. Mobley and Mr. Daniel do not give advice or training on how to use these applications. 

Bruker (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Once you download this software you will need to obtain an academic license. Once you have the license you can insert that into the pop-up window seen when starting the software. Follow the steps to activate. Note, this does NOT work well on the Google Chrome browser. 

To open Varian files in the Bruker TopSpin program, type vconv into the command bar (bottom of the screen). Select the desired folder (the folder should have the extension .fid) in the pop-up directory window (please note that you are selecting the folder NOT the files within the folder). Then click VNMR data conversion. A new pop-up window will open. Type 10 next to EXPNO then click OK. Your file should open. 

JEOL (Windows or Mac). In order to obtain this software you must register with JEOL (please do so with your email address). Once registered follow the instructions. For instrument type select (ECZR). Please note that in order to download the JEOL DELTA software a review of your newly registered account is necessary. Thus, it may take 1-3 day before the software can be downloaded.


NMR References 

There are a plethora of options for users looking for NMR references. Indeed, the University of Wisconsin - Madison maintains a website with common 1H,  13C19F31P,  and 77Se chemical shifts. Information about common H-H and C-H coupling constants can also be found on their website. 

Common Chemical Shifts of Trace Impurities by Fulmer et al. Organometallics2010, 29, 9, 2176-2179.

Additionally, the website has a helpful NMR predictor which can be used for 1H and 13C as well as the 2D techniques COSY and HSQC/HMBC. 

For those researchers working on NMR of lignin and lignin model compounds a database completed by John and Sally Ralph (University of Wisconsin - Madison and United States Forest Products Laboratory, respectively) can be found here

The Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB) is useful tool for those researchers working on proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules

If you have other NMR references you would like added to this website, or if you find errors, please contact Dr. Mobley.

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