Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Code CHEM474
Coordinator Dr FPN Blanc
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 7.5

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):



This is an advanced module that aims to introduce the student to modern nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic techniques and their applications in analytical chemistry. The students will be able to understand the basic physical principles of NMR and to decide how to use it to tackle a particular problem of molecules and materials characterisation.  

In particular, the module will deal with- the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance, including modern methods for the determination of chemical structure and intermolecular interactions in complex organic molecules, polymers and solids as well as the concept of electron paramagnetic resona nce spectroscopy;

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, successful students should have gained an in-depth understanding of NMR (and EPR) and be able to explain the physical principles of these spectroscopies, analyse spectra and be able to discuss their suitability to address certain problems of materials characterisation. In particular, successful students should be able to:

- Discuss the behaviour of nuclear spins and their ensembles in an external magnetic field and the influence of magnetic interaction on the appearance of NMR spectra;

- Describe the structure of modern NMR spectrometers, explain the concepts of data acquisition and processing and show an understanding of chemical shift, magnetisation, rotating frame of reference, scalar coupling and basic pulse programming;

- Explain the origins of relaxation, the principles of the determination of T1 and T2 relaxation times, their calculation from NMR data, and the relationship between relaxation and molecular motion.

- Explain the nuclear Overhauser effect and its use in analysis of complex organic molecules;

- Describe the main principles of one- and two dimensional experiments and interpret the spectra recorded for both liquids and solids;

- Explain the differences in acquisition of solution and solid-state NMR spectra and specific methods used for solids (magic angle spinning, cross-polarisation and decoupling);

- Describe experiments suitable for t he analysis of internuclear connectivites, distances and mobility in organic and inorganic solids;

- Understand the concept of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy;

- Critically compare different methods of spectroscopy and their suitability to tackle a particular problem in materials characterization;

- Critically evaluate the use of spectroscopy to support scientific conclusions based on literature.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture -

Tutorial -

Assessment -


NMR (16 lectures)

1. Basics of NMR (lectures 1-6)

- Nuclear spins in a magnetic field

- Chemical shift, scalar coupling, dipolar coupling

- Vector model of NMR

- Quantum mechanical description

- Instrumentation

- Fourier Transformation and data processing

2. High Resolution NMR Spectroscopy (lectures 7-11)

- Dynamics processes

- Relaxation mechanism

- The nuclear Overhauser effect

- Two-dimensional NMR

3. Solid state NMR (lectures 12-14)

- Magnetic interactions in solids (dipolar coupling, chemical shift anisotropy, quadrupolar coupling)

- Main experimental techniques (magic-angle spinning, heteronuclear decoupling, homonuclear decoupling, cross-polarisation)

- Studies of quadrupol ar nuclei (high-resolution experiments for half-integer quadrupolar nuclei)

- Analysis of molecular motions in solids

4. EPR (lectures 15-16)

- Electron spins in a magnetic field

- Instrumentation

- Hyperfine structure

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 16



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 54


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Written Exam  2 hours  second semester  80  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 1 
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework  3 tutorials - each t  wk 4,8 and 12 - second semeste  20  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 2 There is no reassessment opportunity, Notes (applying to all assessments) The coursework is not marked anonymously.