Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a versatile experimental technique that can provide detailed information on a sample's structure and dynamics, down to the atomic level.

Our world in minute detail

NMR is quantitative, non-destructive, and can be used to study solids, liquids or gases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the same principles, but results in spatially-resolved images rather than frequency-domain spectra. At Deakin we use both NMR and MRI to solve a diverse range of problems in chemistry and materials science. Some of our research areas are outlined below.

Solid-state NMR methods development

As well as applying a diverse range of modern NMR techniques to characterise advanced materials, we are also developing new NMR methodologies. In particular we are interested in studying some of the more unusual or exotic nuclei that are not routinely observed by NMR, such as 14N. These are often more difficult to deal with than 'standard' nuclei such as 13C, and generally require advanced experimental methods, but they also bring their own advantages and can provide unique information.

Structure, dynamics and ion transport in electromaterials

Novel electrolyte materials such as organic ionic plastic crystals can exhibit complex phase behaviour and numerous dynamic processes. NMR line widths obtained from such samples can be analysed to obtain dynamic rates and geometries, telling us how the various molecules are moving in relation to each other in each phase of the sample. Relaxation or diffusion measurements can also allow ion transport to be observed and quantified. This information allows us to design improved materials for applications in energy storage devices, such as safer, more efficient and more sustainable batteries.

Magnetic resonance micro-imaging

The use of magnetic resonance imaging to study electrochemical cells in situ as they are being charged and discharged is a very recent concept, and at Deakin we are currently developing new techniques and applications in this area. This will allow an unprecedented insight into the physical and chemical processes occurring in the cells, and will contribute to the development of longer lasting and more efficient batteries.

Supramolecular chemistry

Researchers from Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences use solution-state NMR to identify atomic interactions within host-guest complexes. For example, the isotherms generated from a 1H NMR titration can be used to quantify these interactions via an association constant; a measure of how 'tightly' the host interacts with the guest. Such information is crucial in the study of capture agents and selective sensors for species such as fluoride.

Our staff

The academic and technical staff at IFM's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility are experts in their field.

Academic staff

Australian Laureate Fellow
Professor Maria Forsyth
Senior Lecturer
Dr Luke O'Dell

Facility Manager

Facility Manager
Dr Elizabeth Ankers

Research Fellows

Research Fellow - Solid-state NMR studies of electromaterials and polymers
Dr Haijin Zhu

Our Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility at Deakin's Geelong Waurn Ponds campus is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for the detailed characterisation of molecules and materials.

Learn more about our instruments

Contact us

Senior Lecturer of NMR Spectroscopy
Dr Luke O'Dell
+61 3 5227 3076
Email Dr O'Dell