June 1, 2009, Bruker announced the release of the AVANCE 1000 NMR Spectrometer. This 1000 MHz (1 GHz) instrument features a standard 54 mm bore within a 23.5 Tesla superconducting magnet. The magnet technology offers subcooling (below the bp of He) in the magnet, which Bruker claims to be necessary for the stability of the magnetic field. Bruker also offers nitrogen-free magnets that are able to keep the helium boil-off rates to a minimum. While it would be nice to avoid having to manage two cryogenic liquids, I wonder what the pay-back time is for the chiller equipment?

Imagine the hassles, begging, and incredulous stares that the users will have to contend with to to get some 1 GHz NMR time? I wonder if anyone will do 1-D experiments with it?

The AVANCE  1 GHz instrument is priced at a cryogenic ~$16,000,000 per copy with an 18-24 month lead time. I’ll have to stick with Anasazi Instruments for a while at least.

Separately, a link at the Bruker website will take you to the University of York where a site dedicated to one groups NMR work with parahydrogen is detailed. A technique called SABRE, Signal Amplification by Reversable Exchange, is described. The exposure of an NMR sample to parahydrogen (singlet H2) results in the transfer of polarization to the sample and subsequent increase in sensitivity.

The workers describe the operation of a device used for the conversion of triplet orthohydrogen to singlet parahydrogen as a ready source of this peculiar “isomer” of dihydrogen. Parahydrogen is the dominant form at 20 K, but drops to 25 % abundance at room temperature. Exposure of a mixture of ortho and parahydrogen to a paramagnetic catalyst does the conversion to achieve enriched singlet H2.

According to one on-line source, the conversion of ortho- to parahydrogen evolves 527 kJ/kg. I’d watch out.