The chemist’s toolkit can be vast, depending on what he or she works with. For those who work in the pharmaceutical industry, drug discovery is a billion dollar industry that chemists play a key role in as they discover, develop, and test potential new drugs. One way that chemists frequently analyze molecular structure is using NMR, or nuclear magnetic resonance. It’s one of the most useful analytical method (and therefore is used quite frequently) in modern chemistry. There are many different forms this can take, such as a desktop NMR, portable NMR, tabletop NMR, but a benchtop NMR spectrometer is especially useful for chemists. If you’re looking into one for your lab, you may wonder how much does a benchtop NMR cost? We’ll discuss the costs, benefits of having one (regardless of how much does a benchtop NMR cost), and why NMR is such a popular method.
A Brief History of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Spectrometers are a key part here and the first commercial ones were created in the 1950s, quickly becoming an important part of research chemists’ toolkits. They were based on conventional electromagnets and permanent magnets, though the superconducting magnet was widely embraced in the 1960s by chemists. Spectrometers essentially are instruments that take light, break it into spectral components, and record and measure them.
NMR was first demonstrated in 1946 by Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell and received a Nobel Prize for their work in 1952. It was Richard Ernst though, in 1966 who first demonstrated Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance (FT NMR). This method quickly became the favored one and got rid of older scanning techniques.
NMR spectrometers are used to watch local magnetic fields that are around atomic nuclei and can be used to identify complex molecules.
What are the Benefits of Having a Benchtop NMR?
Having a benchtop NMR in addition to other kids of NMR spectrometers can increase workflow. Processes can be better streamlined, researchers can be more productive, and costs overall may go down.
If you need quick, quantitative data, using a benchtop NMR can replace a chromatographic method that run much slower and need more material to work with. You’ll save on solvent and on time. It also gives you more options for viewing results, so that other machines aren’t tied up or you have to wait in a queue for one machine to clear.
For those who teach, an NMR benchtop can give students a more hands-on approach to what they’re learning. More traditional spectrometers are often off limits to undergraduates, but a benchtop NMR gives them the chance to create and run their samples and understand how the process works, which is invaluable.
Furthermore, if you haven’t even been doing analysis in your lab and outsourcing, a benchtop NMR could save you a significant amount of money. Outsourcing could still be used for more advanced samples, but for basic analysis, this is the way to go.
How Much Does a Benchtop NMR Cost?
If you’re trying to get a quote for approval, the first question is often, “How much does a benchtop NMR cost?” Usually you can expect them to hover in the $50,000 range, though there are opportunities to get used benchtop NMR’s at a lower cost. Tubes of course, would be additional, and you’d need to continue to supply them.
However, there are plenty of online resources to compare prices and see what different vendors price them at, as well as getting in touch with your own suppliers to see what they can offer you.
On the whole though, the advantages of having a benchtop NMR usually do outweigh the price tag. With regular maintenance and care, they can have good longevity, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it any time soon.