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What is NMR Spectroscopy?

Everything, both the visible and invisible, is made up of atoms and when two or more atoms combine, they form a molecule and this process is called synthesis. Thus, it won't be wrong to say that understanding the behaviour and structure of molecules help us to understand everything around us.

The technology which we used for this purpose is called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This technique has its roots in a very famous branch of chemistry; analytical chemistry and was first demonstrated by Felix Bloch in 1946. However, such NMR spectrometers were not commercially available till 1950 but right after that year, this technique gained the status of the indispensable analytical technique.

Related: Read the demonstration of atomic emission spectrum.

NMR spectroscopy can be defined as the study of chemical and biochemical molecules, placed under a specific electric voltage when their nuclei interact with electromagnetic radiations. It was Zeeman, who first observed the unusual behaviour of nuclei of molecules when they are placed under a magnetic field and that's why this phenomenon is also called the Zeeman effect. Zeeman effect is also named as NMR analysis.

Using nmr spectroscopy table, scientists get the details about the dynamics, structure, behaviour, and reaction state of different molecules. Not only this, but using the principle of nmr spectroscopy, one can also check the purity and composition of a sample - especially the organic samples.

Related: Also read about endothermic and exothermic reactions to balance the complex equations.

What is Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)?

All the nuclei possess a specific charge and have a special spin which causes an atom to show magnetic properties or act as a magnet. Due to this behaviour, the nucleus also possesses its magnetic field. Whenever the same nucleus is placed under the electric field of special magnitude, an energy transfer is recorded, from the ground state to the excited state.

This energy transfer occurs only when the radio frequency coincides with the wavelength. If the magnetic field of the nucleus opposes the applied field, a higher energy transition will be observed. Whereas, if the applied voltage gets aligned to the magnetic field of the nucleus, a lower energy transition will be recorded. This phenomenon of resonating a nucleus under the influence of its own and external magnetic field is called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy or NMR.

Related: As you like NMR spectroscopy, you will also like study of capillary electrophoresis instrument and uv vis spectrophotometer.

Working Principle of NMR Spectroscopy

To perform nmr analysis, proper instrumentation is arranged which consist of numerous expensive components like magnets, magnet controller, sample holder, detector, RF transmitter, and display screen. How does the NMR is performed, we've described it in steps below

  1. Fill the sample tube or sample holder with the sample. The sample tubes used for this technique are usually made up of quartz and are 0.3 cm thick and 8.5 cm long.
  2. After filling the sample holder, it is placed under an external magnetic field. To apply the magnetic field externally, magnetic coils are placed around the sample holder which starts throwing a magnet field over the sample perpendicularly, as soon as it gets electric signals.
  3. To produce the NMR signals, you need to get an RF transmitter that will emit radio waves. These radio waves will, then, excite the sample and give off NMR signals.
  4. Behind the sample tube, a very sensitive signal receiver is placed which acts as a detector. The signals are then processed by software and displayed over the monitor in the form of an NMR spectrum.

Related: Also learn about periodic table discovered by scientits and chemical reactions evolved in chemistry.

What's It Used For?

As stated before, NMR spectroscopy is generally used to get information about a sample, to check its purity level i.e. oxidation state and composition. Other applications of NMR spectroscopy that we used in everyday life are as follows

  • Quantitative analysis

    It is used to analyze various types of mixtures quantitatively; to check what is the percentage of each ingredient in it.

  • Analyze organic and inorganic compounds

    NMR spectroscopy is widely being used by biochemists and chemists to analyze both the inorganic and organic compounds; to study their properties - especially to analyze the combustion of organic compounds.

  • Evaluate molecular configurations

    Besides studying the dimension and behaviour of molecules, this technique of NMR spectroscopy is also used to evaluate the molecular configuration and conformation. Not only this, but this technique also helps a lot to predict the physical properties of a given sample including its phase change, diffusion, solubility, and conformation exchange.

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