NMR Facility - Chemistry Department

Hi NMR Community.

I hope that if you’ve returned to lab you’re healthy and adjusting well to the new lab environment.

The first week of Phase 2 reopening was VERY eventful for the NMR Facility. The you for your patience during this period where so much happened. To recap:

  • We formally reopened for partial use late Monday, June 15. 500-2 was the only spectrometer available that day, and only short, routine analysis was allowed.
  • NMR account reapplications were filled out and accounts activated on 400-1.
  • A new 60-sample autosampler was installed on 400-1.
  • 400-1 became the only spectrometer available. Instructions on how to use it, aimed at people comfortable with manual spectrometer operation, are posted here: https://chemnmrlab.uchicago.edu/using-automation/
    • A new time limit was imposed to disallow any single daytime experiment to run more than 20 minutes. You may still run the experiment, but toggle the “Sun” icon to “Moon” so it will run at night.
  • A lot of things happened in the GCIS NMR lab:
    • The old 400-2 console was disconnected, and its probe, computer, and shims were removed.
    • A new console, probe, and computer were installed.
    • The 24-sample autosampler from 400-1 was installed on 400-2.
    • A new VT chiller was installed on 500-3, enabling VT experiments down to -40 °C (or *F) to be run by flipping a switch instead of hassling with liquid nitrogen. The liquid nitrogen apparatus is still available (and may even get its own upgrade; stay tuned).
    • The computer now running 500-3 is different from the one you see on the network. The new one has a new hard drive, upgraded operating system, and Topspin 3.6.2. And it has a nice new, bigger, better-proportioned monitor.
    • Furniture is still being moved around. Expect more space and somewhat different work areas.
  • All spectrometers are now running on the same version of Topspin: 3.6.2, the latest that supports Avance consoles.

For the second week of Phase 2, a number of things are planned.

  • Accounts on 400-1 will continue to be activated.
    • NOTE: You don’t have to change your username. But NOW is a good time to change it if you prefer a new one. I have a stack of requests to fix misspellings and harmonize usernames with CNetIDs, and it’s easy enough to add your request to the list. But know that these changes will be implemented first on 400-2, then 500-2, then 500-3 and 500-1, then 400-1, and last on the data transfer computers.
    • Please reach out if you’d like a quick personal but appropriately distant orientation to automated acquisition.
  • Both 400-2 and 500-3 need to be configured.
    • Both instruments’ computers need all user accounts created from scratch. I’ve developed a script-based system that should do that efficiently and securely, but it’s possible I may hit snags requiring time-consuming manual adjustment.
    • 400-2 needs to be configured with the same experiments as 400-1. Further, the new setup includes some new experiments that I want to explore, If they work well, the experiments on 400-1 will also get updated. Going forward, the idea is to ensure the capabilities and accounts on 400-1 and 400-2 will be the same, except for autosampler size.
    • I am considering changing the probe on 500-3 to a “BBI” model that we have in a cabinet. It would triple the 1H sensitivity on 500-3 and retain the -150 – +150 °C VT range, but heteronuclear sensitivity would go down. At this point, I need to install it and determine by how much it would be reduced. But I think we could really use one 500 with high 1H sensitivity for characterizing polymers, running DOSY experiments, etc. High sensitivity for 13C and other heteronuclei would still be available in Searle on 500-2. Because of the software upgrades, anyone accustomed to running one of them will find the other familiar (after 500-3 users get familiar with TS3.6.2).
  • 500-1 and 500-2 need the same sort of OS and user account upgrades as 500-3. Priority will be given to 500-2 so it can become available for intensive-use (1 hour minimum reservation) experiments (titrations, VT, DOSY) during Phase 2.
  • NOW is a good time to request new experiments to be available in automation.
    • The current list of available experiments is posted here: https://chemnmrlab.uchicago.edu/experiments4automation/
    • 77Se is ready to be added already.
    • The 400’s to be configured with default parameters for paramagnetic samples.
    • 2H is on the list of experiments to be added, but will need some extra work to run in automation.
    • DOSY? It’s possible to have one set of parameters, but this is really better run as an intensive-use case, so this one is not a priority.
    • New nuclei are relatively straightforward to add, so please let me know what you want AND give me a sample. Sample availability is always the rate-limiting step.

Thank you for your patience! Enjoy Week2/Phase2!

– Josh

Reminder on timing: June 29 is the date scheduled for 400-2 reopening. 500-2 will open within a few days of 400-2 reopening. 500-3 and 500-1 will not be available during Phase 2.