NMR Facility - Chemistry Department

Hi NMR Community.

Before launching into Phase 2 Monday, I want to manage some expectations regarding NMR use. The points below reflect key elements on the facility’s reopening plan, but the plan hasn’t yet been formally approved by the university. If anything changes, I’ll let you know by email ASAP.

First, in accordance with University guidelines, the NMR facility will be using safety, not research productivity, as our primary driver during Phase 2. We’re going to do as much as we can within safety boundaries, but not more. The facility will not be fully operational for a while, so please plan accordingly.

Second, please be mindful of new safety procedures.

  • In addition to wearing a mask, you will need to put on NEW gloves for use in the lab. They are available as you enter the lab.
  • Before you enter the NMR lab, check through the window how many people are already there. In the Searle lab, there is a LIMIT OF THREE PEOPLE. If there are already three people in the NMR room, you will need to go back to your own lab and return later.
  • ZONES: The Searle lab floor is marked to identify working zones. ONE PERSON PER ZONE is the rule, which helps ensure safe personal distancing.

Third, because of the installation of new equipment, Monday, June 15, is going to see less experimental capacity than the rest of Phase 2.

  • Our Bruker engineer will be installing a new autosampler on 400-1, so that instrument will be unavailable.
  • 500-2 will be made available for Monday only, and you will need to reserve time on it using the usual calendar. Please limit yourself to 20 minute use and only conduct routine experiments.

Monday will be a good day to fill out your NMR account reapplication form and slip it under my office door.

Fourth, for Tuesday – Friday next week (June 16-19), the facility will be running at reduced capacity.

  • 400-1 will be the only spectrometer available.
  • No reservations are used on the automated instruments, so before entering the room you will need to check how many people are inside. If there are more than 3 in the NMR room, you need to go back to your lab.
  • It is expected that 400-1 will be used for short-duration data acquisition during the day. For sets of experiments that last longer than ~15 minutes per sample, please click the “Sun/Moon” icon to direct them to run at night. You can easily split data collection so, for example, a 1H 1D spectrum is collected as soon as possible, and other experiments, like a 13C 1D, are collected at night.
  • Please do not run more than four samples at a time per sample owner during the day. If you’re running four samples each for yourself and two lab partners, it would be technically OK to submit 12 samples, but it would be polite to queue some of them up to run at night.
  • It is expected that each user will spend LESS THAN 10 MINUTES IN THE LAB PER VISIT:
    • 0 – 5 minutes in the waiting area if someone is already using 400-1
    • 1 – 5 minutes submitting samples to 400-1 for data collection
    • (later) 1 – 5 minutes collecting samples and/or transferring data using the data transfer computer.
  • The offline data processing computer will be unavailable during Phase 2. Please install MNova and/or Topspin on your computer for data analysis. See https://chemnmrlab.uchicago.edu/mnova/
  • Updated instructions on how to get your data are provided here: https://chemnmrlab.uchicago.edu/data/#searledata
  • Do not use 400-1 to process and analyze data.

Fifth, 400-2’s new hardware should be installed by the end of next week, but I will need to spend some time configuring it for our needs. Barring installation problems, I am committing to making it available by Monday June 29. This promises to be a transformative change for GCIS NMR users.

FINALLY, please know that I’ll be monitoring safety compliance, usage levels, and researcher satisfaction, and I’ll consider making adjustments as we move forward.

Thank you for your attention and your patience as we navigate this difficult time.

– Josh