CHEMISTRY 781: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Theory and Practice


Instructor: F. Holger Försterling, Room 341 or B-10; Phone (414)-229-505 (Teams), (414)-229-5896 (Lab)

Course Website:

Days and Hours:

Lectures: Tuesday, some Thursday, 2:30 – 3:45 pm, B-10 and CANVAS.

Lab: Thursdays and some Tuesdays, 2:30-3:45 (CHM-B10)

First Meeting: Tue, Sept., 2022, 2:30 pm, CHM B-10

  • 7 lab reports
  • 1 Midterm (in class presentation)
  • 1 Final Exam

Grading: The final grade will be made on the basis of the mid-term (20%), the final exam (30%) and the average of the lab reports (50%).
Recommended Textbook: J. W. Akitt and B. E. Mann; “NMR and Chemistry: An Introduction to Modern NMR Spectroscopy” Stanley Thornes, Cheltenham 2000
Midterm: in class presentations (groups of two)
Final Exam: take-home
Course Summary:

    The purpose of this graduate level course is to give an introduction into the application of NMR spectroscopy to those who use this method to solve problems in the fields of chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry. The lectures will cover basic principles and theory of NMR, introduce important one and multi dimensional experiments and discuss their application in assignment and structure determination problems. Through in class presentations students will be exposed to NMR related problems in the literature. During the lab students will get hands on experience in acquiring NMR spectra, and perform on line processing and analysis of multidimensional spectra.

Tentative Course outline


Lecture notes (PDF format)

  1. Part I: Basic theory (3 lectures)
  2. Part II: The spectrometer (2 lectures) 
  3. Part III: The chemical shift (2 lectures) 
  4. Part IV: Spin-spin coupling (2 lectures)
  5. Part V: Multiple pulse experiments and double resonance (3 lectures)
  6. Part VI: Two dimensional NMR – basic theory and through bond correlation
  7. Part VII: COSY spectra and coupling constants
  8. Part VIII: NOE and through space correlation
  9. Part IX: Relaxation and dynamics

Powerpoint Presentations (PPTX format)


  1. Fundamental Constants
  2. Table of NMR active nuclei (2 pages)
  3. Summary of important equations of part I and II
  4. Schematics of Magnet, Console and Probe (3 pages)
  5. 1H and 13C chemical shift ranges
  6. Examples of 1H and 13C NMR chemical shifts
  7. Tables with proton chemical shift substituent increments
  8. Tables with C-13 chemical shift substituents increments (2 pages)
  9. Tables with 1H/1H coupling constants (2 pages)
  10. Assignment using HSQC/COSY/(INADEQUATE): Example Menthol (7 pages)
  11. Structure elucication using HSQC/COSY/HMBC: Example Camphour (5 pages)
  12. Abundance vs. Sensitivity of Nuclei (4 pages)