NMR Facility - Chemistry Department


Rules of the road for harmonious use of this shared facility

Signup rules

PDF version is found here:

All manually-operated instruments require reservations. Credentials and a link to the reservation site are provided upon completion of Level2 training.

Night time use is unlimited, except for autosampler-equipped instruments.

Graphical diagram showing limits to NMR usage on different instruments


9 AM to 10 PM
09:00 to 22:00
  • 15 min per sample
  • 90 min total per day (sum of all samples)
10 PM to 9 AM
22:00 to 09:00
  • 4 hours total (sum of all samples)
  • No limits on number of samples



24 Hours
  • 20 min limit per login
  • no VT experiments



8 AM to 10 PM
08:00 to 22:00
  • 5 hrs maximum reservation
  • VT allowed; user must ensure sample temp = 25±0.5 °C on logout
  • Walkup use ≤ 20 min is allowed when instrument is idle and not reserved
10 PM to 8 AM
22:00 to 08:00
  • Complete overnight may be reserved
  • VT allowed; user must ensure sample temp = 25±0.5 °C on logout
  • Walkup use ≤ 20 min is allowed when instrument is idle and not reserved
8 AM to 10 AM / 08:00 to 10:00,
8 PM to 10 PM / 20:00 to 22:00
  • Overnight reservations may be extended into Buffertime
  • Buffertime counts against a user’s daytime allotment. For example, if someone extends 2 hours into Buffertime, they are only allowed 3 hours additional use that day.
  • e.g. #1: Nov 6 8:00 PM to Nov 7 10:00 AM is ok, but leaves only 3 hours of use for each of Nov 6 and 7
  • e.g. #2: Nov 6 6:00 PM to Nov 7 8:00 AM is NOT OK because it starts outside Buffertime
  • An entire Sunday may be reserved
  • MAXIMUM ALLOWED, including Buffertime = Saturday 8:00 PM to Monday 10:00 AM


Autosampler – Sample Management

  • Users are encouraged to take their samples shortly after their spectra are collected.
  • Users may not take others’ samples from the carousel or the racks.
  • If a sample is marked “Finished” in Icon-NMR, a user may delete the entry and use that carousel slot.

The two-rack system

  • The TOP RACK (the NMR tube rack on top of the table by the NMR computer) is for placing samples for which data acquisition is finished. Users may always retrieve their own samples from the TOP RACK.
  • If a sample is in a slot labeled “Finished” or “Available” in Icon-NMR, users are allowed to remove it from the spinner and place it in the TOP RACK.
  • The BOTTOM RACK is for holding samples until their owners take them. Do not place any samples in the BOTTOM RACK.
  • Never take a sample that is not yours from either the TOP RACK or the BOTTOM RACK.
  • Every Monday morning:
    • The tubes in the BOTTOM RACK are placed in the “TAKE-ME BEAKER”.
    • The empty BOTTOM RACK is moved up to the top shelf and becomes the new TOP RACK.
    • The sample-containing TOP RACK is moved to the bottom shelf, becoming the new BOTTOM RACK.
  • All users are allowed to take any NMR samples from the TAKE-ME BEAKER as long as they agree to dispose of their contents properly.
  • DO NOT mix up the TOP and BOTTOM racks.

Misc. Rules

Fresh gloves

FRESH/NEW gloves may be worn in the spectrometer room. Do NOT wear gloves you wore at your chemistry bench, as they post a chemical contamination risk. Please use gloves supplied in the NMR room.

Tube length

On the automated spectrometers with carousels, 400-1 and 400-2, the maximum total length for sample tubes is 8.75″ or 222 mm. J. Young, screw-cap, septum-equipped etc. tubes are acceptable as long at they are less than 222 mm TOTAL. Longer tubes must be run manually. You can order acceptable J. Young tubes from Wilmad (part 528-LPV-200M) or NewEra (part NE-CAV5-135), OR you can ask your glassblower to add a J. Young valve to a Wilmad 528-PP tube and ensure the total length is < 222 mm.

No liquid manipulation

You may not prepare samples, mix samples, add anything to samples, transfer samples to other tubes, etc. in the spectrometer rooms. You may do so in the Searle support room.

Secondary Containers

Secondary containers, such as flasks and beakers, are required for transporting samples to and from the NMR labs. All trained users are provided a white plastic flask for this purpose. Transport in bare hands, pockets, etc. is unacceptable.

Log out when done

When finished with a manually-operated spectrometer (NOT the automated spectrometers 400-1 and 400-2), you must log out of your Linux account, leaving the instrument ready for the next user, AND sign out on the paper log register.