Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ACD/Labs NMR Processor & ChemSketch

The academic version of the ACD/Labs NMR Processor is now available for free to students and instructors. It may be downloaded from the ACD/Labs website after creating a user account. This is great news for instructors and students alike. Instead of spending hours acquiring and processing student NMR data, I am now requiring my Advanced Organic Lab students to process their own FIDs. I anticipate that this software will reinforce concepts taught in class as students perform tasks such as Fourier transformation, phasing, peak picking, integration and proton assignment. The download also includes ChemSketch, an industry standard for drawing chemical structures. ChemSketch can be used simultaneously with the NMR Processor to make proton assignments as well as create professional quality spectral reports.

I have posted a short presentation on using the NMR Processor for my CHEM 333 students on the course website's File Sharing page. The instructions within are basic and only scratch the surface of the software's functionalities. What makes it a great application, however, is that you don't need to know much to create a professional looking spectrum in a matter of minutes.  CHEM 333 students should use the ChemSketch template (ACD_333nmrtemplate.sk2) that I've also posted on the File Sharing page when creating their reports. For a sample FID folder to practice with, download the file, ACD_samplefid.fid.zip, on the File Sharing page.

Although ACD/Labs software does not support Mac OS X, I have been using the processor and ChemSketch on my Intel iMac running Windows XP with the Parallels virtualization application. Parallels can be purchased from the UIC Webstore at a reduced price by UIC students and faculty. The only downside to this solution is that I have been unable to cut-and-paste into native OS X Microsoft Office apps like Work and Powerpoint.

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