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Chemistry LibreTexts

5: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

  • Page ID
    170433
    • 5.1: Prelude to Structure Determination
      One morning in a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland, an active, athletic teenager named Charli found that she did not have her usual appetite for breakfast. She figured she was just feeling a little under the weather, and was not to worried. But as the days passed, her appetite did not return. Before long, she stopped eating lunch as well, and eventually she was hardly eating anything at all.
    • 5.2: Chemical Equivalence
      The frequency of radiation absorbed by a proton (or any other nucleus) during a spin transition in an NMR experiment is called its 'resonance frequency'. If all protons in all organic molecules had the same resonance frequency, NMR spectroscopy but would not be terribly useful for chemists.
    • 5.3: The 1H-NMR experiment
      In an NMR experiment, a sample compound (we'll again use methyl acetate as our example) is placed inside a very strong applied magnetic field ( B0 ) generated by a superconducting magnet in the instrument. (The magnetic fields generated by modern NMR instruments are strong enough that users must take care to avoid carrying any magnetics objects anywhere near them.
    • 5.4: The Basis for Differences in Chemical Shift
      We come now to the question of why nonequivalent protons have different resonance frequencies and thus different chemical shifts. The chemical shift of a given proton is determined primarily by interactions with the nearby electrons. The most important thing to understand is that when electrons are subjected to an external magnetic field, they form their own small induced magnetic fields in opposition to the external field.
    • 5.5: Spin-Spin Coupling
      The 1H -NMR spectra that we have seen so far (of methyl acetate and 1,4-dimethylbenzene) are somewhat unusual in the sense that in both of these molecules, each set of protons generates a single NMR signal. In fact, the 1H -NMR spectra of most organic molecules contain proton signals that are 'split' into two or more sub-peaks.
    • 5.6: 13C-NMR Spectroscopy
      The 12C isotope of carbon - which accounts for up about 99% of the carbons in organic molecules - does not have a nuclear magnetic moment, and thus is NMR-inactive. Fortunately for organic chemists, however, the 13C isotope, which accounts for most of the remaining 1% of carbon atoms in nature, has a magnetic dipole moment just like protons.
    • 5.7: Solving Unknown Structures
      Now it is finally time to put together all that we have studied about structure determination techniques and learn how to actually solve the structure of an organic molecule 'from scratch' - starting, in other words, with nothing but the raw experimental data.
    • 5.8: Complex Coupling in Proton Spectra
      In all of the examples of spin-spin coupling we saw in our discussion of proton NMR, the observed splitting resulted from the coupling of one set of protons to just one neighboring set of protons. When a set of protons is coupled to two sets of nonequivalent neighbors, with significantly different coupling constants, the result is a phenomenon called complex coupling.
    • 5.9: Other Applications of NMR
      In the introduction to this chapter, we heard two stories about people whose lives were potentially saved when brain tumors were discovered during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. MRI is a powerful diagnostic technique because it allows doctors to visualize internal body tissues while sparing the patient from surgery and potentially harmful, high energy x-rays.
    • 5.10: Structure Determination (Exercises)
    • 5.11: Structure Determination (Summary)