Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an analytical technique used in quality control and research for determining the content and purity of a sample as well as its molecular structure. It uses magnetic fields and electro-magnetic frequencies to determine the structure and composition of molecules. NMR can be used to study simple molecular structures like water (H20) or carbon dioxide (CO2) or more complex structures like proteins.
For example, NMR can quantitatively analyze mixtures containing known compounds.
For unknown compounds, NMR can either be used to match against spectral libraries or to infer the basic structure directly. Once the basic structure is known, NMR can be used to determine molecular conformation in solution as well as studying physical properties at the molecular level such as conformational exchange, phase changes, solubility, and diffusion.
NMR is unique in that it is non-destructive, meaning it won’t destroy the sample in the process of analyzing it. NMR also provides detailed information on dynamic processes like protein-protein interactions or binding and chemical reactions as they happen.