University of Southampton

The University of Southampton’s Magnetic Resonance Facility supports researchers in the Schools of Biology and Chemistry with expertise in technical and methodological development, materials science, medicine and the life sciences. The Facility operates a number of spectrometers including a 700 MHz, 3x 600 MHz, a 500 MHz, 2x 400 MHz and a 300 MHz instrument. These instruments are equipped to conduct a broad range of experiments including liquid and solid-state NMR experiments in addition to microimaging. These are complemented with more specialist hardware reflecting the research interests of the groups, with access to cryogenic, hyperpolarized and microfluidic NMR.

Dr. Philip Williamson who can pass your enquiry to the relevant person

NMR Equipment

Very-High Field (700-800 MHz)

Bruker Avance Neo 700 MHz narrow bore four channel NMR spectrometer equipped with the following liquid state probes:

  • 5 mm 1H-optimised triple resonance (1H/19F, 13C, 15N, 2H TCI) N2-cooled cryoprobe, z-gradient, T: -40°C to +80°C
  • 5 mm X-optimised double resonance (1H, 31P to 109Ag BBO) probe, z-gradient, T: -150°C to +150°C
  • Bruker sampleJet for automated acquisition and metabolomic analysis

High Field (600 MHz)

Bruker Avance Neo 600 MHz wide bore (89 mm) three channel liquid/solid-state NMR spectrometer, with 500W X and Y channels and 300W proton channel plus lock channel.

Solution state probe:

  • 5 mm double resonance broadband (BBI) probe

Solid state probes:

  • 2.5 mm triple resonance MAS probe
  • 4 mm double resonance MAS probe
  • 4 mm triple resonance MAS probe with a range of plug ins for triple resonance experiments (including HCN, HPC, HPN)
  • 7 mm double resonance MAS probe

This system also has capabilities to perform:

DD2 Agilent 600 MHz narrow bore NMR spectrometer equipped with 4 channels 3×300, 1x100W (1H/19F), lock and xyz gradients. The system runs VnmrJ4.2 and provides access to the full range of Agilent Bio/Solids/Biosolid Packs. The system is equipped with a wide range of both liquid and solid-state NMR probes

Solution state probe:

  • 5 mm HCDN 1H-optimised triple resonance (TCI) probe
  • 5 mm HPCDN pentaprobe
  • 8 mm broadband (BB) probe

Solid state probes:

  • 1.6 mm triple resonance MAS probe with spinning up to 45 kHz.
  • 3.2 mm triple resonance MAS probe with spinning up to 25 kHz.

Due to the nature of the tuning arrangement found on the Agilent MAS probes, a full range of low-gamma nuclei are available in an extensive range of tuning combinations. The tuning range is further extended by a low-gamma box allowing a broad range of low-gamma nuclei to be studied. In addition, this system is also employed for the development of microfluidic NMR; interested parties should contact Prof. Marcel Utz.

Additional capabilities

Bruker Avance III 500 MHz and Bruker Avance III 300 MHz wide bore three channel NMR spectrometers (300/500/500W HXY) with xyz gradients. These systems are equipped with both liquid and imaging capabilities and run Bruker TopSpin 3.6 and Paravision 6.0.1 software for data/image acquisition.

Bruker Avance Neo 400 MHz wide bore NMR spectrometer equipped with a broad range of probes for conducting solid-state NMR experiments (both static and MAS) including:

  • 3.2 mm Chemagnetics double resonance MAS Probe, T: -150°C to +200°C
  • 4 mm Chemagnetics double resonance MAS Probe, T: -150°C to +200°C
  • 6 mm Chemagnetics double resonance MAS Probe, T: -150°C to +200°C
  • 6 mm Chemagnetics triple resonance MAS Probe, T: -150°C to +200°C
  • 3.2 mm Pheonix triple resonance MAS Probe, T: -150°C to +120°C
  • Three double resonance static probes equipped with a range of home-made coils for the analysis of static or mechanically aligned samples.

The probes on the system are broad banded and with the use of a low-gamma accessory permit the study of very low-gamma nuclei. Furthermore, they permit analysis of samples across a broad range of temperatures.

A custom build equipment to shuttle a conventional 5 mm NMR sample between 7 T and 10 mT (and any intermediate field). The sample is flame sealed and immersed in water (or other fluids) at all time. The water temperature can be controlled between 10°C and 50°C and kept constant within 0.1°C. The sample and the surrounding water are shuttled together so that the sample temperature is kept constant in experiments where polarisation and/or detection are done at high field (7 T) while other dynamics happens at some low field. The temperature of the sample has been found very homogeneous throughout the sample volume thus the system is quite good at minimising convection flows when measurements are required above or below room temperature (contact person: Dr. Giuseppe Pileio).

Bruker Neo 400 MHz spectrometer equipped for solution NMR with 5mm and 10mm triple resonance probes. The system is equipped with a fast sample shuttle and magnetically shielded chamber. We run a fast sample shuttle and a magnetically shielded chamber containing custom-built low-field coils, allowing NMR experiments to be performed over a range of 9 orders of magnitude in magnetic field. This equipment is under active development; see Contact person: Malcolm Levitt.

This equipment allows to work with high pressure samples of up to 1000 bar (contact person: Dr. Giuseppe Pileio). It consists of:

  • a series of 5 and 10 mm high pressure tubes equipped with a needle valve to stand up to 300 bar (sapphire) or 1000 bar (zirconia) (purchased from Daedalus innovations);
  • a custom-built filling station through which we can dispense a known amount of gas at relative low pressure and collect it in the high pressure tube (by cold-trapping) where it can be mixed with any other compound and pressurised to the desired value;
  • an high pressure syringe pump that can dispense the compressed gases, liquids or gases to the desired vessel and in the required quantity.

We have several homebuilt probes for 600 MHz and 500 MHz that accommodate generic microfluidic devices, with a NMR sample volume of 2.5 µl. Limit of detection for metabolites is about 1 nMol/sqrt (Hz); 1 mM concentrations can be quantified in these systems within a few minutes of acquisition time. The microfluidic device can be designed to carry out various functions, including mixing, perfusion, and reagent metering. Details of the system have recently been published (DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2019.04.007). We are keen to collaborate with groups that have interesting research questions that might be addressed by microfluidic NMR (contact person: Prof. Marcel Utz).