University of Ottawa NMR Facility Web Site

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Friday, October 25, 2019

11B Double Quantum - Single Quantum Correlation Spectroscopy

The 2D 13C INADEQUATE method provides double quantum - single quantum (DQ/SQ) correlations and enables one to determine the carbon - carbon skeleton of small organic molecules.  The method is quite insensitive for 13C since the natural abundance of 13C is only 1.1% and the chance of having two adjacent 13C nuclei is only 1 in 8264.  For spins other than 13C, for which the natural abundance is high, one expects the sensitivity of DQ/SQ correlation spectroscopy to be much higher.  11B has a natural abundance of 80.42% and the chance of having two adjacent 11B nuclei in compounds with boron-boron bonds is 1 in 1.55.  11B NMR spectra are often sufficiently broad due to efficient quadrupolar relaxation such that homonuclear 11B - 11B J coupling is unresolved however the T2's are long enough to allow the collection of  2D 11 B COSY and 2D DQ/SQ data.  The figure below shows the 2D 11B DQ/SQ correlation spectrum of ortho-carborane.  The 11B bonding connectivity can be determined easily from the spectrum.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


The 2D 13C INADEQUATE (Incredibe Natural Abundance DoublE QUAmtum Transfer Experiment) is undoubtedly one of the most definitive, yet under-used NMR techniques able to assign chemical structures of small organic molecules.  It gives a connectivity map for all carbon atoms in the molecule.  The reason that it is so under-used is that it relies on one bond 13C - 13C coupling therefore, adjacent carbon atoms must both be of the 13C isotope.  Since 13C is only 1.1% naturally abundant, the chance of having two adjacent 13C atoms is approximately 1 in 8300, reducing the sensitivity of the measurement drastically.  As a result, 2D INADEQUATE spectra can only be run on very concentrated samples.  The sensitivity afforded by high magnetic field strengths and cryogenically cooled probes has certainly made these measurements more accessible than they have been in the past and they may be within reach when sample quantity and solubility are not a problem.  The 2D 13C INADEQUATE spectrum of ~450 mg of limonene in benzene-d6 was acquired on a Bruker TCI H/C/N cryoprobe at 600 MHz and is shown in the figure below.
The spectrum was acquired with the gradient version of the INADEQUATE pulse sequence using a shaped refocusing pulse (Bruker pulse program inadgpqfsp).  It was acquired in 11.8 hours with 64 scans for each of 128 increments using a 5 second recycle delay. The proton decoupled 13C spectrum is in the horizontal F2 domain.  The spectrum is interpreted by locating the vertical cross peaks for each 13C resonance.  Each cross peak has a partner peak along the horizontal axis.  The partner peak lies on the same vertical axis as the carbon atom bonded to the initial carbon.  This is shown in the figure for C1 which is bonded to C2, C3 and C4.  The entire carbon skeleton of the molecule can be traced unambiguously in this manner to provide a complete assignment.  The same sample was run under the same conditions in 45 minutes with only 4 scans.  A comparison of the signal-to-noise ratio for both data sets is shown in the figure below.
It is clear that usable 2D INADEQUATE data can be acquired in less than an hour for extremely concentrated samples at high field with a cryoprobe.