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Could NMR be applied for other elements besides Hydrogen?

  1. Dec 31, 2015 #1
    Most books discribe NMR as a diagnotic technique for Hydrogen and its isotopes. Could Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy be applied for other elements with odd atomic number besides H? If so, what is the major challenge for a multi-element scanning?
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2015 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    It definitely can and it is not an uncommon practice. Here's an example of NMR using Pt:


    Also note that electron spin resonance is a similar technique as NMR, but done onto the electron spin states.

  4. Dec 31, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Certainly. Phosphorous is a commonly used nucleus also.
  5. Dec 31, 2015 #4


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    Of four standard spectroscopic methods used in the organic analysis two are NMR techniques using different nuclei: H NMR and C-13 NMR. Two other are IR and MS.
  6. Dec 31, 2015 #5
    Thank you so much for your answers guys! But what is the challenge to have a multi-elemental mapping using NMR, say, is it possible to have H, C13, P, etc.all elements with odd atomic numbers at the same time?
  7. Jan 1, 2016 #6
    What NMR requires is a nonzero nuclear spin - for example, 2H and 14N are often used for (quadrupolar) NMR studies in a variety of applications.

    You need to examine the natural abundance of each isotope to see how the numbers pan out - for example, 1H is the vastly predominant stable isotope (> 99.9%), 13C is the vastly non-dominant stable isotope (~ 1%), and 31P is the only stable isotope (100%). However, it is possible to produce isotopically enriched samples to make doing experiments easier in that regard. So a naturally occurring chemical/biological/material sample here on Earth will be extremely rich in 1H, all 31P, but have a small amount of 13C. This may or may not be a problem, depending on what you want to do.
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