Remote NMR access has always been available, but it becomes particularly relevant in this period in which traveling is strongly limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When accessing a research infrastructure, interaction of the user with the scientific and technical staff for support and advice is often as important as the instrument time itself, both concurring to successful measurements. For this reason we are now developing novel ways to maintain fruitful interpersonal contacts also through remote access procedures.
Support to users may range from suggestions and advice in the initial phases of planning the measurements, to interactions during experimental set-up, all the way to training on specific aspects of interest to users.
However, different levels of assistance and supervision are necessary, according to the expertise of the “remotely” visiting scientist with the specific requested technology: expert or non-expert users.
An expert user can follow the setup of the experiments and suggest acquisition parameters to the local responsible through spectrometer screen sharing in a WebEx communication. A direct “virtual” connection can thus be established, and the spectra outcome can be commented live, with the user actively taking part to the processing of the spectra. The processed spectra and the experiment datasets are then transferred to the user.
A non-expert user can also choose to follow through WebEx the setup of the experiments, and be trained on the set-up procedure by the infrastructure staff. Spectra analysis can be provided as well as training in the different aspects of data processing and analysis.
How to apply?
The application form for remote access does not differ from application for access in presence. External users may request access through one of routes available listed on the right side of this page, choosing the one that best fits with their necessities.
How to ship the sample?
Samples should be sent through one of the available couriers. The tracking number should be provided to the local staff to facilitate sample tracking and delivery. Details on how to store the sample should be provided. Note that sample shipment expenses are reimbursed to Instruct-ERIC and iNEXT-Discovery users.
How do we handle your sample/s?
Remote access to technologies that require samples in solution: solution NMR, EPR, relaxometry, molecular biophysics techniques
If the samples are not shipped in the proper tubes, our staff takes care to transfer the sample from the vial to the tube; air-sensitive samples will be handled in an oxygen-free chamber. Our staff will operate following the protocol for operations (air/light sensitivity, temperature of storage, etc…) provided together with the samples.
For solid state NMR
Transfer to the rotor is performed by our staff only for 3.2 and 4 mm rotors and for non air/light sensitive samples. For high MAS frequencies (rotors of 1.3 mm or 0.7 mm), samples must be provided directly in the rotor, after testing that they spin properly.