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A chemistry method called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used to examine and assess the composition and purity of a particular sample. For example, the most studied nucleus is hydrogen. Chemists can investigate the molecular structure of hydrogen by using NMR spectroscopy. 

NMR can be used to identify additional physical characteristics of a material, such as solubility, diffusion and phase shifts, once the method has been used to ascertain the material’s basic structure. However, how precisely does NMR spectroscopy work? 

The principles behind it 

There is an electrical charge in every nucleus. This energy can change from the base energy level to the higher energy level when an external magnetic field is applied. 

Radio frequencies are the wavelength at which this energy transfer takes place. To generate an NMR spectrum for the particular nucleus under study, this energy is measured and processed. 

The magnetic field surrounding the nucleus determines the resonance frequency of the energy being transferred. Depending on the chemical environment, electron shielding might have an impact on the magnetic field. 

Information about the chemical environment can also be obtained from the resonant frequency, since electron shielding is dependent upon the chemical environment of the nucleus. For example, the resonance frequency of a more electronegative nucleus will be higher. 

What is spin-spin coupling? 

The orientation of neighbouring nuclei can have an impact on the nucleus’s magnetic field, which will affect any results. We refer to this as spin-spin coupling. Every nucleus has the potential to split its signal into two or more lines due to spin-spin interaction. 

The magnetic field of the nucleus has no effect on how much the signal divides. The split is therefore expressed as an absolute frequency. It is commonly expressed in Hertz. 

The number of chemically connected nuclei surrounding the nucleus under study is determined by the number of splittings. Therefore, NMR spectroscopy not only allows chemists to analyse samples again without compromising the material, but it also allows chemists to ascertain properties of the surrounding nuclei in the sample. 

The uses for NMR are endless, and as technology improves, it’s getting easier and easier for NMR to be used by individuals.  

  

Do you want to be involved in the future of NMR? Get in touch or email us info@quadsystems.tech   

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