In situ, illumination of liquid-state samples makes it possible for a wide range of light-dependent chemical and biological phenomena to be studied by one of the most powerful analytical techniques – nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

We provide a universal solution to delivering multi-wavelength and high- intensity light to samples positioned inside a NMR spectrometer magnet. With this exciting new technology new smart materials, molecular photo-switches, photoenzymes, light-controlled gene expression and drug release, photo-chemical reactions, can be watched, studied and characterised in action by NMR.

Our uniquely designed NMR insert and new illumination principles are compatible with a wide range of standard NMR spectrometers and probe heads, and can be retrofitted or added to the equipment of the future. Given that life around us depends and relies on light, studies of photo- induced phenomena using one of the most powerful analytical techniques are essential for wide range of applications.

Dr Golovanov, who led the design, says: “A NMR spectrometer magnet is generally a very dark place where light never shines, unless you bring it there. We are not constrained by any limitations of thin optical fibres – it is much more efficient to place LEDs next to the sample tube, as we do here. The trick is how to illuminate a thin sample from the outside, in a very narrow channel, without compromising the probehead. We have solved this problem. The sample just glows when the light is switched on.”

NMR torch

Features Include:

  • Sample illumination principles are compatible with any standard solution NMR spectrometers and probe heads, including cryoprobes.
  • Suitable for benchtop or high-field NMR spectrometers.
  • Can be incorporated into new designs, or retro-fitted.
  • Ensures high intensity light is delivered to the NMR sample, and uniform illumination of the sample from the outside.
  • Filling and sealing of NMR tubes can be done as usual: no fiddly optical fibres to insert into samples, no contamination for oxygen sensitive or moisture sensitive samples.
  • No interference with the workings of the spectrometer, insignificant effect on sample shimming and solvent suppression.
  • Allows full light control from the spectrometer, and potentially full automation and high sample throughput.