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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy provides precise structural and dynamic information of chemical compounds at atomic resolution and has thus become an essential analytical tool for catalysis research. This method can be used to solve structures and dynamics of new catalysts and of catalytic products and intermediates, differentiate stereochemistries, follow reaction kinetic in real-time, and decipher reaction mechanisms.

The NMR department at the MPI für Kohlenforschung supplies the expertise for the implementation of standard and advanced NMR experiments and their analytic interpretation as well as the development of novel methodologies for the different research groups. We are dedicated as well to teaching and research.

Christophe Farès

Dr. Christophe Farès

2009
Head of the NMR Department (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung)
2007
Scientific Associate (University Health Network, Toronto, Canada)
2004
Postdoctoral fellow (Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany)
2003
Postdoctoral fellow (University of Guelph, Canada)
2003
Ph.D. Biophysics (University of Guelph, Canada)
1994
B.Sc. Biochemistry (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
1972
Born in Montreal/Canada
 

Research Topics

Residual Dipolar Couplings
Residual Dipolar Couplings

Residual Dipolar Couplings

Residual dipolar couplings (RDC) are orientation restraints which are rapidly becoming standard in NMR of small compounds. They are used to determine stereochemistries, to differentiate enantiomers and to provide complementary conformational and dynamic information. Developments are ongoing in sample preparation (orienting media), measurement and analysis.

NMR Relaxation
NMR Relaxation

NMR Relaxation

The way spin magnetisation returns to equilibrium depends on the fluctuation of local fields and can reveal details of dynamic and exchange processes. We are developing the use relaxation dispersion to identify of low-populated intermediate states in catalytic reactions.

Rapid Injection NMR
Rapid Injection NMR

Methods Development and Research

Rapid-injection NMR applications are being used to track species in catalytic transformations immediately after mixing with a time resolution of as little as 0.25 s. Such real-time experiments help characterise important key intermediates in very fast reactions.

 

Instrumentation

NMR in Full Automation
NMR in Full Automation

NMR in Full Automation

Basic NMR measurements in liquid state are carried out in high throughput mode on two NMR spectrometers with 1H frequencies of 400- and 300-MHz at room temperature. With minimal setup, scientific personnel from the institute can access these instruments round the clock and obtain NMR data which are acquired and processed fully automatically. The selection of available experiments is limited to those with high sensitivity, high information content and rapid execution with predefined parameters. These include experiments for 1D spectra of 1H, 13C, 31P and 11B as well as for 2D correlation experiments such as 1H/1H COSY and 1H/13C HSQC.

Routine NMR
Routine NMR

Routine NMR

Liquid samples requiring special setup or treatment are submitted for measurement to our operators on 400- and 500-MHz spectrometers. The most common requests are for(a) experiments or nuclear frequencies not available in the automatic mode, (b) experiments at high or low temperature, (c) techniques requiring adjustment of acquisition parameters to optimise the spectra, and (d) spectroscopy of chemical reactions and kinetics followed in real time directly in the NMR tube.

Advanced NMR Analyses
Advanced NMR Analyses

Advanced NMR Analyses

Particularly challenging NMR studies of solution compounds are submitted to advanced analysis. For these samples, our technical staff members provide full measurement, analysis and interpretation assistance in close collaboration with the chemical research groups. The advanced techniques are carried out on our dedicated 600- and 500-MHz NMR spectrometers. The 600-MHz spectrometer is implemented with a cryogenically cooled probehead, which considerably enhances signal-to-noise ratio up to a factor of 8 compared to conventional equipment. A large part of the analytical work is dedicated to determine or confirm structures, stereochemistries, conformations and dynamics.

Solid-state NMR
Solid-state NMR

Solid-state NMR

Solid-state NMR spectroscopy remains one of the most important techniques for the characterisation of complex solid catalyst support and other insoluble materials studied in the institute such as mesoporous silicas, aluminium hydrides, alanates, coals and organometallic compounds. Both dedicated 300- and 500-MHz spectrometers are equipped with magic-angle spinning (MAS) probeheads to obtain high resolution signals from a wide range of NMR active nuclei.

 

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