Tarrant County College (TCC) was established in 1965 in Fort Worth, Texas to provide quality, affordable education. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges to award Associate's degrees. In 2014, TCC's Board of Trustees together with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved for the College to award Associate of Science degree in Chemistry. Graduates with an AS-Chemistry degree are qualified to seek employment opportunities as chemical laboratory technicians or they can continue their education in a four year university. As a result of this new degree approval and in order to provide students with hands on experience using modern analytical instrumentation (thus enhancing their technical expertise), the chemistry department decided to invest in the purchase of new spectrometers. At the start of the 2015 fall semester, budget was approved for the purchase of an NMR spectrometer. After extensive market research, the Department chose to purchase a Magritek Spinsolve benchtop system.
Chemistry Department Chairman, Dr Kaveh Azimi, and staff, are enthusiastic about their decision. “Faculty selected Spinsolve spectrometer for many reasons. Its compact size is ideal for a teaching laboratory where space is at a premium. Maintenance free operation thanks to the permanent magnet design means there is no need for cryogen fills saving valuable resources. The simplicity of sample preparation and the fact that the system uses standard 5 mm NMR sample tubes make this an ideal instrument for a teaching lab. The quality of spectra is excellent and to have the option of a 13C upgrade increases the value of this initial investment. Last, but not least, faculty and staff were most impressed by the knowledge, friendly demeanour, and professionalism of Randal Hall, Magritek's regional sales manager. Ultimately, it was Mr. Hall's assurance of Magritek's commitment to customer service and technical support that sealed the sale.”
Spinsolve is being used primarily by students enrolled in the second semester organic chemistry course. Organic chemistry students are following experiments from the Molecular Laboratory Program in Chemistry. For example, to identify unknown aldehydes and ketones, students prepare NMR samples of their unknowns and use NMR spectroscopy as a qualitative method for structure confirmation. They are also carrying out some basic reaction monitoring experiments where students utilize the integration values of NMR peaks as a semi-quantitative analytical method to estimate the percent completion of a reaction. In addition, students perform NMR spectra interpretations to determine the chemical structures of unknowns and to characterize the products their reactions. Spinsolve is also being used for an undergraduate research project entitled Investigations into the Fatty Acid Composition of Commercially Available Dietary Fats.
Summarizing, Chemistry Department staff say, “We were “magnetized” by Spinsolve's simplicity of operation and the superior quality of spectral output during the hands-on instrument demonstration (high signal to noise and good peak resolution). The Spinsolve took us for a surprising spin!“
Magritek's Spinsolve benchtop NMR spectrometer is supplied worldwide to academics in teaching and research; also to industry for research and reaction monitoring through to quality control use.