NMR Spectroscopy

The Heriot-Watt University NMR Unit operates four spectrometers, detailed below.

Bruker AVIII 300MHz

This instrument, installed early 2010 and featuring the state-of the-art ‘nanobay’ compact console is our open-access workhorse (running>1000 jobs/month). After a brief training session, users are able to access this machine at their leisure on a first come-first served basis.

The spectrometer is open to research students and undergraduates, who make use of it for both teaching lab work and projects. All experiments are predefined and automated, currently the following nuclei are available; 1H, 13C, 31P, 19F and 11B though others can be introduced if requested. The turn-around time on this spectrometer is rapid; typically 60% of jobs are completed within 10 minutes of submission. All raw NMR data is securely archived forever and can be retrieved by users for remote processing both off- and on-campus.

Bruker AVIIIHD 400MHz

We have recently (September 2018) upgraded our AVI spectrometer by re-consoling to AVIIIHD. The instrument, equipped with a BACS-60 autosampler, is configured to operate in both automation and manual modes. The spectrometer runs TopSpin 3.6.0 on a Windows 10 Workstation with ICONnmr-managed automation, while the resident BB(F)O probe enables access to all nuclei from 14N up to 1H. The instrument is bookable via the U-Lab online booking platform.

Bruker AVIII 400MHz 

Upgraded from DPX to AVIII in early 2010, this machine is used principally to run less routine experiments which require more user input. These include 2D experiments, most frequently C-H correlation, NOESY and COSY, multinuclear and variable temperature experiments. The spectrometer is equipped with an ATMA BB(F)O probe.  In addition, the console hosts a MAS control unit and we have exchangeable probes for solid-state CP-MAS and HRMAS. Automated operation utilises ‘SampleCase’ 24-holder sample-changer. Users can submit work for this instrument to the departmental service, however, they are encouraged to carry out their own experiments and learn more about the fascinating world of NMR spectroscopy.


Delivered in September 2018, this table-top NMR spectrometer operates at 60MHz for 1H only.  Simple to use and powered by a permanent magnet it requires no cryogens and is fully mobile; the residual magnetic field does not extend beyond the casing and so the instrument may be used in almost any environment.  Perfect for outreach to schools and industry!  The '60' may also be equipped with a flow cell to enable in-situ reaction monitoring by 1H NMR.  Bookable via the U-Lab online booking platform.

Key information

David Ellis