The power of NMR spectroscopy when you need it, where you need it

Over the last 50 years, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has become the preeminent technique for determining the structure of organic compounds. However, because NMR spectrometers are typically large, expensive machines requiring strong, liquid helium-cooled cooled superconducting magnets, they have been commonly used mostly in research universities. It wasn't until the early 2000s with the renaissance of permanent magnet technology and design that the development of smaller, portable spectrometers with sufficient resolution and sensitivity for research, industrial, and educational applications became possible—hence NMR spectroscopy's belated appearance on the benchtop, relative to other spectroscopic methods of analysis.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a pioneer in the area of benchtop NMR instruments. On this page, you will learn about the unique features of our high performance, low-cost, compact Thermo Scientific™ picoSpin™ 45 and 80 spectrometers and their applications in many process industries (including biofuels, food, petroleum, LNG, and pharmaceuticals), research and manufacturing laboratories, and chemical education. Many illustrated examples of NMR analyses of organic compounds in various applications are given that show you how the analysis of chemical shifts and splitting patterns in an NMR spectrum can give you a wealth of information, such as the molecular structure of a compound, the kinetics and mechanism of a chemical reaction, and the purity of a solvent or product.  

Benchtop NMR spectroscopy features

Find out how the benchtop picoSpin 80 NMR solution provides the structure selectivity and high discriminating power needed for screening the increasing numbers of synthetic drug analogues penetrating national borders. The compact instrument is conveniently placed in workspace-limited labs and testing areas, while enhancing the presumptive testing capabilities of illicit drug screening facilities. 


Learn how educators have developed or adapted organic chemistry experiments using the picoSpin NMR spectrometer to provide a hands-on NMR experience for students. The ease-of-use and low operating cost of the picoSpin NMR spectrometer allows for integration of NMR analysis into the teaching lab with the students actually operating the instrument and acquiring their own data.

Thermo Scientific picoSpin NMR spectrometers

Launched in 2009 as the world's first micro NMR spectrometer, the picoSpin 45 NMR spectrometer is a small (7 x 5.75 x 11.5”) 45 MHz spectrometer with good resolution (< 1.8 Hz) and mid-to-low-range sensitivity. It weighs 4.76 kg (10.5 lbs) and can acquire a 1D 1H or 19F spectrum. The Thermo Scientific picoSpin 80, introduced in 2013, operates at 82 MHz with a resolution of 1.48 Hz and weighs 19 kg.


Special features:

  • Optional use of deuterated solvents due to the presence of a software lock
  • Control requires only a web browser on any external computer or mobile device as spectrometer has a built-in web server board; no installed software on a dedicated PC needed
  • A unique flow-through sample injection system that uses a 1/16" or 1/32" capillary instead of the traditional static 5mm NMR tubes, thus requiring miniscule sample quantities


picoSpin NMR subtopics


Use Thermo Scientific picoSpin spectrometers for real-time, in situ monitoring and QA/QC testing of small-batch process applications without the need for separation and derivatization of chemical species typical of other instrumental methods of analysis. Our compact but powerful NMR spectrometers allow you to dynamically analyze changes in reaction mixtures, identify changes in chemical structure, monitor concentrations and mixing conditions, and detect impurities right on the production floor.

Test for impurities, monitor reactions and analyze concentrations – take advantage of the power of NMR analysis when and where you need it most, in your lab. Time matters a lot in a busy lab, so why wait hours for NMR data from the central facility? With the picoSpin 45 or 80 NMR spectrometer, routine NMR analysis of your reagents and reaction mixtures at your lab bench, in your fume hood, or in a glove box is now possible. 


Teach your students how easy NMR can be with the picoSpin 80 NMR spectrometer. It is effortless to use with minimal training required. No sample-to-sample shimming is required after a quick and simple, first-time setup procedure, eliminating wait times between measuring multiple spectra. This feature becomes crucial when a group of students want to use the instrument all at the same time. Spectra are analyzed with bundled industry-leading Mnova™ software, so each student has all the tools needed to characterize their own compounds.

Visit our NMR spectral library for information on a growing range of selected applications, e.g., essential oils, botanicals, pharmaceuticals, insectides, solvents, education, etc.

Spectroscopy, elemental, and isotope analysis resource library

Access a targeted collection of application notes, case studies, videos, webinars and white papers covering a range of applications for Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, Near-infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry, X-Ray Fluorescence, and more.