The Integration of Liquid- and Solid-State NMR into the Undergraduate Physical Chemistry Curriculum

  • Mueller, Karl Todd (PI)
  • Benesi, Alan James (CoPI)
  • Bortiatynski, Jacqueline M. (CoPI)
  • Sykes, D. G. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project addresses issues of fundamental reform in the physical chemistry curriculum via advanced integration of liquid- and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments. A comprehensive suite of NMR laboratory exercises (initially targeted within the physical chemistry laboratory) builds in level of sophistication from simple liquid-state measurements through static, magic-angle spinning (MAS), and cross-polarization MAS solid-state experiments. Alone, or in concert, these experiments provide multiple layers of instructional merit from basic structural characterization to important physical chemistry concepts. Since not all instructional programs have solid-state NMR capabilities, we develop and market schematics and construction materials for a low-cost ($2500) static 2H probe that is compatible with existing liquid-state spectrometers. Deuterium NMR line shapes are sensitive to molecular motion and serve as excellent instructional aids for topics such as methyl rotors. For educational materials we include fully supported multimedia presentations of the basic concepts of liquid- and solid-state NMR and complete step-by-step instructions for each experimental exercise. We use the assessment strategies developed and supported by the Penn State Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of these tools. In terms of intellectually merited outcomes, we provide an integrated series of authentic experiences, using NMR as a unifying theme, connecting theory, concepts, and research. More broadly, tools are designed for vertical integration into organic and instrumental analysis courses at PSU. Additionally, during this initial phase, we seek partner institutions to implement the material during future full-scale development.

Effective start/end date1/1/046/30/06


  • National Science Foundation: $75,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.