NMR Usage

Access to instruments

Instruments are accessible to anyone who has been trained on their use by the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) laboratory staff and who has a current account. No unauthorized training allowed.

You must have an active budget number (EFS string) on file to log into your NMR account. If you do not have a budget number, applying for a Chemistry Department Sales Card Application & Temporary Stockroom Card will create one. A budget with an inactive status in the Chemistry accounting system will prevent you from logging into the NMR spectrometers.

Each authorized user is given a six-letter login code and computer account for scheduling time on the instruments and for using the instruments. Please use a secure password. Do not let anyone else use your account: violators will lose access privileges for a one-week period.

How to download your NMR data

To download your NMR data, use an SFTP program to connect to echo.chem.umn.edu, use port 22, with your username and password (SFTP Directions). You can access other people's directories once you are logged in. If after connecting, you get a message about a security key, say "yes" that it is a trusted connection. You must be connected to the University network (VPN is OK) to access the NMR data server.

WinSCP: transferring data to your computer (SFTP to echo.chem.umn.edu)

How to process your NMR data

Please see the NMR Resources webpage for information about NMR data processing software and spectral databases.

Scheduling hands-on NMR time (AM-400 and AV-500 only)

Use Secure Shell to schedule time: ssh clients (ssh to nmr.chem.umn.edu).  

If you don't want to install an ssh client, you can use the Command Prompt in Windows or the Terminal on Macs with the follwing command (be sure to substitute your six-letter login code for the username):

  • ssh -l username nmr.chem.umn.edu  

You will be charged for any time that is scheduled, but not used: cancel unused time.

General policies

No food or beverages near the spectrometers or workstations. 

Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Do not leave your NMR tubes in the laboratory.  The NMR laboratory director will dispose of abandoned NMR tubes.

If a sample breaks in the magnet, contact the NMR lab staff immediately so the probe can be cleaned. This will minimize probe damage from corrosive solvents. Repairs for any damage to the probes resulting from user error are charged to the user group.

All users must abide by the scheduling restrictions posted in the lab.

Read the manuals.

Sample preparation

Please see the NMR Sample Preparation webpage.

Briefly, use NMR tubes that are in good repair.  Do not use chipped or cracked NMR tubes. Appropriate filling height is 40 mm (~0.55 mL). Shorter samples may take longer to shim and/or may not shim well. Taller samples waste solvent, dilute your sample, and, in extreme cases, may have problems as a result of convection induced by a temperature gradient across the sample.

NMR tubes and solvents are available in the Chemistry stockroom. The NMR lab does not provide solvents or other supplies for your use.

Variable temperature work

Separate training is required for variable temperature work, please contact NMR laboratory personnel.

Be aware of the temperature limitations on the probe you are using. If unsure, ask!

Always use a precision tube (no economy or high-throughput tubes!) that is free of cracks, scratches, or chips.  If you're unsure, use a new tube to minimize the likelihood of breakage. Be aware of the temperature limitations of the spinner you're using. If unsure, ask!

For variable temperature work, you must schedule enough instrument time to bring the temperature back to the default temperature when you are finished. On the AV-500, this is 300K; on the AM-400, this is 298K.

Use restrictions

AX-400: 1-hour limit during the daytime, 3-hours maximum during the nighttime

HD-500: 1-hour limit during the daytime, 4-hours maximum during the nighttime

AM-400, AV-500: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 9 slots per user can be reserved up to 24-hours in advance; Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., and weekends, unlimited slots

All spectrometers for nights and weekends: reserve 2 weeks in advance, holidays, weekend restrictions in effect.

After hours access via U-card

To receive U-Card access to the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) laboratory, please complete this U-card form. Only send the information once. If your U-card does not work, check with Thomas Smith in the NMR laboratory.

If you are a newly-trained user of the Mass Spectrometry (MS) Laboratory or the X-Ray Crystallographic (XCL) Laboratory and you already have NMR laboratory access, for MS or XCL U-Card access, please email Thomas Smith, smit3684@umn.edu, and carbon copy (CC) the appropriate laboratory director (Dr. Young or Dr. Dalluge). Please do not resubmit the U-Card form.

Service work

Samples may be submitted to the NMR staff to run for you.