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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L011999/1
Title: A 500MHz 13C-cryoprobe and NMR Spectrometer @ Bristol
Principal Investigator: Butts, Professor CP
Other Investigators:
Orpen, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 28 February 2014 Ends: 27 November 2017 Value (£): 6,040
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Jun 2013 EPSRC Equipment Business Case - June 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy is the most information-rich tool for molecular structure analysis, allowing scientists to probe the environment of individual atoms in molecules. The NMR analysis of carbon atoms (specifically their nuclei) is, in turn, the most desirable technique as carbon is ubiquitous in the vast majority of cutting-edge chemical compounds being studied in UK research centres - from plastics and polymers, through detergents, petrochemicals to modern pharmaceuticals and organic electronics. Unfortunately, NMR of carbon suffers from a serious challenge - it is incredibly insensitive, primarily due to the very low-abundance of the NMR-active carbon-13 (13C) nucleus.

This project will install a cutting-edge 13C-sensitive NMR cryogenic probe into the existing large-scale University of Bristol NMR Facility, which serves hundreds of researchers studying a wide range of scientific problems, from manipulation of biosynthetic processes in organisms, ultra-efficient chemical catalysis to the development of controlled nano-architectures with applications in nanoscience. The superconducting coils in this cryogenic NMR probe increase the sensitivity for detection of weak 13C NMR signals by around 10-fold over the most modern room temperature probes used in the vast majority of NMR facilities (including Bristol's). The sensitivity of this 13C-cryoprobe will fill a substantial void in current capabilities of the Bristol NMR Facility, enabling a suite of otherwise impractical NMR techniques to be applied to this broad spectrum of scientific problems - in particular making experiments up to 100-times faster (so minutes or hours for data collection, rather than days or even weeks).

The incorporation of a 13C-cryoprobe into the University of Bristol NMR Facility will create a UK-leading NMR centre that will compete with the best laboratories for these studies anywhere in the world. This instrument will be integrated into the current UoB NMR Facility, alongside the existing suite of 9 other liquids NMR instruments (11 by late summer) and will be supported by an expert team of support staff who between them have over 5 decades of experience in supporting major multi-project, multi-user NMR instrumentation. It is this combination of cutting-edge technology, a highly efficient UoB NMR Facility and the associated research environment that will ensure a highly effective use of this equipment investment, and ensure optimal results for the scientists relying on the capabilities of this critical hardware.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk