The germ that grew into the current NMR Service of the UPV/EHU sprouted in 1996, combining high-field NMR equipment (frequencies from 1H to 200 MHz) from the Departments of Organic Chemistry (Chemistry Faculty of San Sebastián, the Pharmacy Faculty of Vitoria and the Faculty of Science and Technology of Leioa), in addition to the Material Physics Department at the Chemistry Faculty of San Sebastián.
Since 2002, the NMR Service has adapted to the new Regulations governing the Advanced Research Facilities (SGIker) of the University, in accordance with the directives set out in the First University Plan. It was set up to lend supra-departmental support to basic and applied research that may be accessed by all researchers from the UPV/EHU, from the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation (RVCTI), and also other external researchers, under similar conditions to those from the UPV/EHU.
The NMR Service is arranged into three Units. The administrative headquarters and address for the Service is at the Chemistry Faculty (San Sebastián), which is associated with the Units of the Pharmacy Faculty (Vitoria) and the Faculty of Science and Technology (Leioa). The aim of this distribution of equipment is to bring the facilities offered by the Service closer to direct users and to facilitate their use.
The main facilities consist of the structural study of organic and organometallic molecules, biomolecules, materials, additives and traces, etc. via the qualitative and quantitative determination of their components. It is also possible to approach the study of dynamics processes and structural changes with temperature, etc., in the aforementioned materials.
The current equipment enables work to be carried out under simultaneous observation of different nuclei, including: 1H, 13C, 19F, 31P, 29 Si, etc. All the installations and equipment are inter-connected via the UPV/EHU data network and the spectra acquired in the different equipment may be accessed from any installation existing at the UPV/EHU or the Basque Technology Network, just by having a minimal infrastructure at one's disposal (personal computer).
The NMR Service is willing to adapt at any time to the needs of its users, whereby the equipment available has a sufficiently open configuration to enable complements to be incorporated (particularly probes and additional software programmes) that are able to meet new needs.
The NMR Service equipment comprises nine instruments in total, three of which can be considered routine (300 MHz, samples in solution) and operate exclusively on a self-service basis for basic research at the UPV/EHU. The two 500 MHz pieces of equipment (located in San Sebastián and Leioa), two 400 MHz equipment (three channels/CPMAS) in Vitoria (19F-broadband San Sebastian), and two spectrometer for solid state sample 400Mhz and 300 MHz equipment located in San Sebastián, are those set aside for the provision of external services.
There are three types of rate for accessing the NMR Service facilities: a) on a self-service basis, only for authorised personnel, b) via ordinary service, which includes carrying out experiments without interpretation by Service personnel, and c) service under contract.
Access on a self-service basis (recommended for research scholarship holders who work with routine samples) only depends on user needs and the authorisation of the Service coordinator. The self-service system guarantees the simultaneous use of equipment, favouring the dissemination of the NMR technique among users.
Access as an ordinary service (for internal and external users of the UPV/EHU who are interested in information about spectra but not in their registration details), constitutes an attempt to lend effective support to basic and applied research to the maximum possible number of university departments and technology centres that decide to make use of NMR in their projects and contracts, etc.
Lastly, the service under contract is aimed at any user who wishes to carry out an analysis or structural study of unknown substances or materials, etc. via the integral management of the problem. It includes the preparation of samples, carrying out of personalized experiments, interpretation of results and drafting of reports, etc. This is done according to estimate and is aimed at users who, being unfamiliar with NMR, wish to obtain analytical results using this technique.
The protocol of access to the Advanced Research Facilities enables all NMR users to access their services via personnel from the Units, both in order to carry out routine experiments and others of greater complexity. To acquire spectra via the ordinary service by NMR Service personnel, all that is required is a request sent to the contact persons at the different Units and to adhere to the rules for use.