Skip to Content

Analytical Chemistry

Doublets, Triplets, Whateverlets

Another day spent rooting around in the archives, trying to appease the rapacious Taiwanese patent office. One more day should about do it, and not a moment too soon. I’m now unearthing NMR spectral data for compounds, and translating those to print is not enjoyable.
For those outside the field, an NMR spectrum of a typical organic molecule is a rather complex linear plot of multiple lines and peaks. After staring at it a while, it gets rendered into text as something like “1.63, t, 3H; 2.34, s, 3H; 3.1 – 3.39, m, 4H. . .” In plain text, that’s “At 1.63 and 2.34, there are a triplet signals that represent three protons each, and between 3.1 and 3.39 there’s a messy multiplet that adds up to four protons’ worth. . .”
If you really want to get into it, you list the coupling constants, the spacings between the individual peaks of those triplets and etc. No thanks. A typical spectrum will go on for a reasonable paragraph in this way, and the Taiwanese would like nothing better than several pages of this sort of thing, or so they maintain. What they’ll is get as much as I can stand.
I’ll try to lead off next week with a discussion of today’s news about everyone’s pal, Elliot Spitzer, and his suit against GSK. It’s a wide-ranging topic, and there wasn’t enough time to wrestle it to the ground today.

2 comments on “Doublets, Triplets, Whateverlets”

  1. Klug says:

    What? You don’t want to spend your time figuring out J values with a ruler and a sheet of paper with funny lines?

  2. Raphael Almeria says:

    Don’t you have any software tools to do this for you?

Comments are closed.