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1 GHz NMR in the UK

18 November 2020 | News
by Ian Michael

Scientists in the UK will soon have access to a 1 GHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer that has been successfully been energised at the University of Warwick. Funded with £8 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the new 1 GHz NMR instrument adds to the National Research Facility for High-Field Solid-State NMR based at the University of Warwick.

Professor Steven Brown, from the University of Warwick Department of Physics and Director of the National Research Facility for High-Field Solid-State NMR, said: “It is great that the Bruker engineers have successfully brought the new 1 GHz magnet to field at the first attempt—this will be a fantastic resource for the UK scientific community.”

“NMR is a very powerful technology that has driven scientific advances in a diverse range of applications. As a national facility we welcome researchers from UK universities to further their understanding of physical sciences, including pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery, and energy and materials science, as well as life sciences, such as protein interactions and plant biomass. We are delighted that UK researchers will be able to benefit from this leading-edge NMR technology, which will stimulate new research in many different fields of application.”

Patrick Wikus, who is managing Bruker’s GHz-class NMR programme, added: “We are very happy that the energisation of the 1.0 GHz NMR magnet at the University of Warwick went smoothly. Reaching full field is a key milestone in a GHz-class spectrometer installation. Our engineers will now proceed with the homogenisation of the magnet, and then continue with the installation of a number of NMR probes which will support the various research tasks that are planned. We look forward to seeing the exciting results the UK scientific community will undoubtedly achieve with this new instrument.”

The University of Warwick houses the largest solid-state NMR facility in the UK, equipped with NMR technology ranging from 100 MHz to 700 MHz, as well as the National Research Facility’s existing 850 MHz spectrometer. The national Research Facility is available for use by scientists at UK universities, research organisations and in industry, with previous research encompassing wide-ranging research areas such as pharmaceuticals, battery research and energy materials.

The new 1 GHz NMR instrument will enable more PhD researchers from across the country to be trained in a variety of disciplines with the most advanced equipment. Crucial high-end industrial research in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and catalysis will also benefit greatly.

Funding for the new spectrometer was coordinated by EPSRC and also comes from three other research councils: BBSRC, MRC and NERC, who have supported this funding of high-field NMR infrastructure in the UK.

Andrew Wright, Head of Programme, Capital Infrastructure, and John Hand, Head of Programme, Physical Sciences, of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council said: “EPSRC is committed to providing the analytical sciences community with the resources it requires to continue world leading research in UK universities. This NMR system will be of enormous benefit not only to a wide range of engineering and physical sciences researchers, but also those in bioscience, medical and environmental science.”

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