If atoms are too small to see, how do scientists know the fundamental composition of things? How do they know if they’ve made something new? One of the most important tools for determining the arrangement of atoms in matter is a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Le Moyne has an NMR spectrometer, but it is limited to teaching purposes due to its low strength, 60 MHz. An interdisciplinary team of researchers hopes to bring a more powerful instrument to campus.
Principal Investigator (PI) Anna O’Brien (Chemistry) and her co-PIs Michael Masingale (Chemistry), Joseph Mullins (Chemistry), and Hilary McManus (Biology) have submitted a Major Research Instrument grant proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The proposal would fund the purchase of a 400 MHz NMR for the use of Le Moyne faculty and student researchers. Anna and her team were assisted by Lisa Lessun, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations and Academic Resources in the Institutional Advancement office and Chrissie Rizzo, Grant Writing Coordinator in the McDevitt Center.
A more powerful 400 MHz NMR provides sharper resolution than the 60 MHz NMR, and would enable faculty and students to conduct cutting-edge research projects that are not possible with the current instrument on campus. Through lab courses, hundreds of students would gain hands-on experience with an instrument they would likely encounter in graduate school and in jobs after graduation.