NMR ready for use in Science Hall

Katrina DeVore

Alaska, the east coast and British Columbia. (Rachele Krtivichi)

Lawrence has recently acquired
a new nuclear magnetic resonance
instrument following the
award of a $435,000 grant from
the National Science Foundation’s
Major Research Instrumentation
Program Oct. 2009. The new NMR
came online at the beginning of
the week.
The chemistry department was
without an NMR for most of this
term because of the time it took
to remove the old machine and
configure the new one. The old
machine was still functional, and
the school was able to sell it locally
for $200,000.
An NMR is used to analyze the
structures of compounds. A key
aspect of the NMR technology is a
large superconducting magnet that
creates a strong magnetic field.
The new NMR is much more
sensitive than the previous instrument,
and it has the advantage of
an automatic sampler. This attachment
allows multiple samples to
be placed in the machine at the
same time and automatically tested
one after another.
The ability to sample automatically
will be especially useful
for large classes such as organic
chemistry. Instead of waiting in
line to use the NMR one at a time,
the entire class will be able to load
samples simultaneously and the
machine will run overnight.
The data collected by the
NMR will then be uploaded to the
Internet, and with the help of ITS,
the chemistry department is developing
a Web site where students
will have access to the data.
The grant that was used to pay
for the NMR was written in collaboration
with UW-Fox Valley, thus
giving students from Fox Valley
an opportunity to use the machine
for their own projects and, said
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Stefan Debbert, encourage a greater
level of collaboration between
the two universities.
The old NMR lasted for 20
years, and much of its long life is
owed to Robert McMillen Professor
of Chemistry Jerold Lokensgard,
who worked tirelessly to keep it
working for so long.

Alaska, the east coast and British Columbia. (Rachele Krtivichi)

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