NMR Access Policies

NMR Training and Access to Labs

Users who have undergone spectrometer training may operate the instruments without supervision. Each person who desires to use the NMR spectrometers independently must undergo training with authorized CIF staff. There is no sharing of user accounts. To request the training, you must have an account established with the Chemistry Department by filling out the Authorization Form. The form is available online or in 1234 Hach Hall, and should be returned to 1605 Gilman when completed. All internal users, including summer students and visiting scientists, must have a valid ISU Net-ID and ISU email address before receiving training in the facility. A slightly different protocol is applied to external users. Iowa State ID cards are required for after-hours access. The Access Request Form can be filled out at the time of training. Users who have office located outside of Hach Hall can also request external door access via the Access Request Form, or via email to Sarah. External door access is not available to undergraduates. Users associated with Iowa State University have equal access to the facility and are charged with the same rates.

All instruments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users must supply their own NMR tubes and solvents. All solution NMR instruments (AVIII-600, DRX-500, NEO-400, MR-400) are run on a first-come first-served basis during portions of the day, with a 10 minute time limit during this walk-on time. The AVIII-600 (MRI-1040098) and NEO-400 (MRI-1726173) are funded through the NSF MRI program, and group members from co-PI groups have a percentage of reservation time guaranteed on a weekly basis. Users from groups not listed as co-PI's will also have access once the priority users have scheduled their time for the week.  Currently, the AVII-600 is used extensively for biological solution NMR and solids measurements. Time requests for the AVII-600 for solids measurements should be discussed with NMR facility staff.

Once a user has received training on a particular instrument, the user will be authorized to access the Instrument Scheduling System. CIF reserves the right to charge users for time reserved but not used or large blocks of time that are canceled on short notice. Users will be charged at the normal rates for the unused reservation time, unless other users are able to use the instrument time. Abusive over-scheduling or scheduling on behalf of co-workers can result in a loss of NMR reservation privileges or NMR usage privileges. Users should plan on being logged in to the spectrometer computer for most of their reservation time. It is not appropriate to reserve long blocks of time for personal walk-on hours. 

Users requring high-field or cryoprobe access should contact Bruce Fulton in BBMB to schedule time on the 700 or 800 MHz instruments. The 700 and 800 MHz NMRs with cryoprobes feature very high resolution for large molecular weight systems, and also up to 4x signal enhancement for low concentration samples. 

The CIF is also open to the users from other academic institutions and industry. This usually involves submitting samples to NMR staff for data collection. External users located in Central Iowa may wish to schedule a training session and run their samples independently. Contact either Sarah Cady or Shu Xu for details.


NMR Data Processing

The NMR facility has an unlimited site license for MNova NMR processing software. This software is available on shared computers (3 in Hach, 1 in Gilman) or available for download on your personal Windows or Mac computer. The MNova software is very user-friendly, can be used to process both Bruker, Varian/Agilent, or JEOL data, and perform tasks such as peak picking, integration, multiplet analysis and many other high-level features. The shared processing computers also have copies of ACD Labs NMR prediction software available. The processing computers are networked for instantaneous access to data that has been acquired on any of the facility spectrometers. Topspin processing licenses are also available from Bruker for no cost to academic users. 

The CIF contracts with IT Services for space on its networked attached storage drive. After logging out of a spectrometer, any data you acquired will be uploaded to the networked storage, also called the CIF Research Data Cloud. Users will be granted access to The Cloud after their initial training, and a folder will be automatically created after the first file is saved to the new user account. The Cloud can be accessed from on or off campus. Occasional blips in the network may prevent data from being uploaded to the cloud; if you discover a file that is missing, please contact CIF staff so it can be uploaded manually.


Rates FY'23

The FY'23 hourly rates for instrument time (user run samples) are listed below. The rate for spectroscopist time is $30.00 per hour. New users are charged the normal instrument hourly rate for initial account set up and training.

Instrument - Location 3 Hours or Less After 3 Hours
Bruker AVII-600 (Cryo) - 1232 Hach $20.00/hr  $8.00/hr 
Bruker AVII-600 (Solids) - 1232 Hach $13.50/hr $6.30/hr
Bruker AVIII-600 (Solution) - 1232 Hach $11.50/hr  $4.50/hr
Bruker NEO400 - 1232 Hach $13.00/hr $5.00/hr
Varian MR-400 - 1232 Hach $13.20/hr $5.20/hr
Bruker DRX-500 - 1702 Gilman $13.50/hr $5.30/hr
Bruker E580 - 1702 Gilman  $18.00/hr $9.00/hr
Data Processing - Hach & Gilman No Charge No Charge


Samples submitted for analysis by users from outside Iowa State University are billed at 3.0 times the internal rate. The rate for external academic users is 1.5 times the internal rate. 

See also: Internal Rates and External Rates.


Good NMR Practices and Abuse of NMR Privileges

Very rarely do we encounter individuals who do not respect the instrumentation in the facility, the training that is required before using the instruments, the time constraints of other users, or the policies established by facility staff. In these rare instances, CIF may deem it necessary to temporarily suspend NMR access privileges until a conversation can be had with the user's major professor or the Chemistry department chair. 

Please remember:

  1. If something is not working correctly, please contact CIF staff and explain the problem to the best of your ability. During regular hours, you can find us in the office. After hours, email or text is the best way to contact us. Sometimes, taking a photo of the error on the screen will be the most helpful. We will typically reply to emails after hours, especially if the problem is easy to correct. We may walk you through troubleshooting over text/email when possible. 
  2. Do not walk away from a broken NMR tube without cleaning it up to the best of your abilities. There is a broken glass bucket and broom/dustpan in the NMR lab for this purpose. If there is glass stuck in a spinner, set the spinner on the shelf above the printer and email us to let us know to clean it out. If a broken NMR tube is in an instrument, please leave a note on the spectrometer keyboard and email CIF staff immediately. 
  3. Do not abuse walk-on time. During walk-on hours, instrument usage is limited to 10 minutes when others are waiting. If you have several samples to run and there is a line of people waiting to use the instrument, log off the instrument after your 10 minutes and go to the back of the line. Do not leave a spectrometer unattended during walk-on hours if you are using the autosampler software (IconNMR) - you must remain in the vicinity of the NMR lab. Do not plan on running a lengthy or multidimensional experiment during walk-on hours. You will probably be interrupted and have to stop your experiment early. 
  4. Do not abuse the reservation system. Reserve time as needed, but be courteous and cancel/change reservations if you will not use all of the time. Plan on being logged in for your entire reservation - do not reserve large blocks of time for personal walk-on time. Cancel large blocks of time well in advance of the start of the reservation, if possible. Staff recognizes that reactions fail, but please give other users enough time to plan their experiments to utilize the available time. Do not expect to use the instrument beyond the end of your reservation if someone has signed up in the next time slot. If possible, communicate with the next person as soon as possible if you anticipate your experiment may go over your reserved time. 
  5. Leave the spectrometer in the "standard" configuration for the next user. If you disable the autosampler for a tall tube, be sure to reset it. If you use variable temperature, make sure to return the temperature to 298 K before exiting the software. On the MR400, if you tune to 19F, tune back to 1H before removing your sample and exiting the software. 
  6. Leave notes at the spectrometer to communicate with other users if you are running a long/overnight experiment and do not plan on being present when your reservation time ends. 

Above all, please remember to be kind and respectful to all NMR users and facility staff.