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History of Single-sided NMR & Involvement of Bruker

From the very beginning of the NMR in the 1950s, as researchers began to obtain "high-resolution" spectra with structural and chemical information from samples placed in the spectrometer's magnet gap, oil companies immediately realized that magnetic resonance could supply useful insights for oil exploration, provided that one could investigate a borehole from the inside. The first attempts to detect an NMR signal using an apparatus consisting of a magnet plus RF probe lowered into a borehole were reviewed by Brown et al.

In addition to providing important results for the oil industry, single sided NMR was developed for agricultural applications as well as in investigations of concrete. Nowadays, the ability to perform magnetic resonance experiments by simply placing a sample on the surface of the RF probe (so-called single-sided NMR) is an attractive method for the rubber and plastics industry, food quality control, soil investigation, and medical research, for example, but also for cultural heritage diagnostics.

Seminal contributions to single-sided NMR development were made by Prof. Bernard Blümich's group (RWTH Aachen), where in 1996 a prototype for the mobile surface scanner, appropriately named the NMR-MOUSE™ was developed. Bruker joined the single-sided NMR community, adding to the minispec product line a new analyzer dedicated to examining samples larger than those typically used for time-domain NMR (TD-NMR).

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