In the last year, a number of companies have developed high-performance benchtop NMR spectrometers based on modern permanent magnet arrays. Unlike traditional superconducting NMR spectrometers, this new class of NMR spectrometer is sufficiently robust, safe and stable enough to be deployed directly in a typical chemistry laboratory and simple enough to be easily operated by students. We have been using the SpinSolve benchtop NMR spectrometer, manufactured by New Zealand company Magritek, over the last six months and report results from two different applications in our laboratory.
Chemistry in Education
The conversion of acetophenone to p-nitroaniline was achieved through simple transformations typically taught in laboratory courses. NMR analysis of starting materials, reaction progress and products in native and deuterated solvents was afforded using the SpinSolve. The results of this sequence show that benchtop NMR spectrometers are suitable as a stand-alone teaching tool in the laboratory.
Isolation of Natural Products
In this study, the SpinSolve was used to screen extracts of a Tongan marine sponge for the presence of natural products. The results obtained from 1H, COSY and J-resolved experiments were sufficient to obtain partial structure elucidation and warrant further investigation. Further purification of these extracts was also monitored by NMR and ultimately led to the identification of new and known biologically active secondary metabolites.