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KD2060 NMR-spectroscopy 6.0 credits

NMR is today the most versatile and powerful spectroscopic method of a chemist that may access molecular and biomolecular structure and dynamics. Together with NMR imaging, it is also ubiquitous in over a wide field that ranges from quantum computers to oil exploration and from plant physiology to brain research and psychology. A thorough introduction to it is provided in this course.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus KD2060 (Autumn 2007–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course starts with analysing simple NMR phenomena (such as the FID - Free Induction Decay - signal) by spins treated classically. The important elements of practical spectroscopy, including the role of Fourier transformation, are discussed. Understanding more complex NMR demands quantum mechanical treatment, the basis of which is learned in next. This part of the course is finished with a computer experiment where the interesting "quantum life" of spins is observed.

After six lectures of introductory theory the applications take over. First, the two most important two-dimensional (2D) NMR methods, COSY and NOESY spectroscopies, are discussed together with some of the related experiments. NMR relaxation, which forms the basis of NOESY spectroscopy, is treated. This part of the course ends with an overview of the structural studies of biomolecules in solution by multidimensional NMR. The theory is completed with an experiment where non-trivial structural problems are analysed and solved in organic molecules as models.

Applications of NMR to dynamical problems come last. Methods based on magnetic field gradients and used for measuring diffusion and flow (as well as for MR imaging) are discussed together with methods for studying chemical exchange. In the other experiments of the course these methods are going to be applied to dynamical and structural questions in some organic, colloid, and polymer systems.

Intended learning outcomes

After the completed course the student must be able to

- explain and calculate both within a classical and a quantum-mechanical model how the one- and two-dimensional NMR spectrum arises in experiments.

- explain and calculate the effect of Fourier transformation on the detected NMR signal.

- identify elements that separate and unify NMR with other spectroscopic methods.

- explain how NMR relaxation is connected to molecular dynamics.

- explain the basic mechanism of NMR imaging and diffusion and predict the results of imaging simple objects.

- identify the spin interactions that influence the NMR data and explain their effect, connect their spectral effects to chemical properties, select suitable combinations of experiments that can best access those.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

1. Equivalent to the basic chemistry and mathematics courses at KTH.
2. The Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy course (KD2040) or equivalent is strongly recommended.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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J. Keeler; Understanding NMR spectroscopy, Wiley.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Combined written/oral. Instead of the oral examination the students are going to have the opportunity to give their own seminars about selected subjects. Precondition to attending the exam is the acceptance of the reports of the experimental work and homework solutions.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by


Main field of study

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Supplementary information

Replaces by course KD2320