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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Analysis of Chemicals Related to the Chemical Weapons Convention

Chemical Weapons Chemicals Analysis

  1. Markku Mesilaakso1,
  2. Urs Meier2,
  3. Harri Koskela3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0409.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Mesilaakso, M., Meier, U. and Koskela, H. 2009. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in Analysis of Chemicals Related to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Scientific Advisory Board for Defence, Helsinki, Finland

  2. 2

    Spiez Laboratory, Spiez, Switzerland

  3. 3

    University of Helsinki, Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN), Helsinki, Finland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

Abstract

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful analytical techniques in organic chemistry for elucidating the molecular structures of chemicals. Moreover, an NMR spectrum may be used like a fingerprint to identify a chemical by comparing it with its reference spectrum recorded from the authentic chemical under comparable conditions. During the 20 years of international interlaboratory comparison (round-robin) and proficiency tests for the verification of chemical disarmament, NMR spectroscopy has proved itself to be a useful complementary technique to mass spectrometry (MS) and other analytical techniques in the analysis of chemicals related to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Compared with MS, the main problems associated with NMR experiments are the lower sensitivity and the resonance overlap caused by background chemicals present in the sample. The low sensitivity of NMR experiments can be compensated in part by concentrating the NMR samples and by running long-term experiments. The structural specificity of NMR spectra, the capability for the observation of different nuclei (1H, 31P, 19F, and 13C), and the two-dimensional (2D) correlation experiments make NMR spectroscopy a valuable technique to be used alongside other techniques. With regard to the chemicals listed in the Schedules of the CWC, NMR spectroscopy is useful for the analysis of almost all of them. This article describes the NMR spectroscopic methods used in the analysis of chemicals related to the CWC.