NMR COVID safe SOP updated 24 August 2020

UPDATED 24 August 2020

Damodaran Achary is responsible for the NMR instruments.  If you have questions about proper use, contact Damodaran at damodak@pitt.edu

  1. Access to the NMR facility:
    1. For users housed outside of the Chemistry complex, access will be approved on a case by case basis.  Please email Damodaran at damodak@pitt.edu and carbon copy Pete Chambers pchambers@pitt.edu to make your request.  We ask that requests are consolidated to the minimum number of users necessary to conduct ongoing research.
    2. All NMR spectrometers (including walk-ons) must be reserved before its use. Scheduling will proceed through FOM, which is available at https://fom.nano.pitt.edu/fom/. If you are already trained and do not have access to FOM, please contact Rose Sheridan.
    3. To help with contact tracing, do not use your account to reserve instrument time for another user to physically use the instrument. Also do not let another user use your unused time slot.
    4. Movement within Chevron and Eberly requires the wearing of a face mask.  Upon entering the CIC on the 4th floor of Ashe, you must wash your hands with soap and water in the sink in the x-ray lab.  Please be cognizant of users in both the Mass Spec and X-Ray areas and maintain proper social distance.
    5. After washing your hands, proceed directly through the corridor to the instrument you have reserved.
    6. You should always come into the facility only through the main door. Do not use the door on the other side of the NMR facility (behind Rose’s desk) to enter or to exit.
    7. There should be one (and only one) person per instrument, and you should not come in groups even if working together in the same lab.
    8. If you have not yet used the NMR since the COVID protocols, discuss the protocols with Damodaran, review the SOP and confirm with Damodaran that you understand and will abide by these precautions.


  1. Transporting Samples:
    1. While transporting NMR tubes to CIC, remember to follow safety protocols that are already in place, such as using secondary containers and using the freight elevator while transporting multiple NMR tubes. More info can be found here: https://www.intranet.chem.pitt.edu/safety/chemicals-materials-safety/
    2. Do not leave any secondary containers in the NMR lab while your samples are running or after you are done.
    3. Do not leave any NMR tubes in the magnet/auto-sampler/desk or at the NMR facility after the experiment is completed


  1. Basic requirements for COVID safe usage of the NMR facility:
    1. Wear mask at all times while at the NMR facility
    2. Wash hands with soap and water before use (there is a sink inside the X-ray lab)
    3. Disinfect tool before use
      1. Spray provided disinfectant on a paper towel and wipe off the keyboard, mouse, arm rest area of the desk and chair.
      2. Wipe the NMR tubes (part of standard SOP) with Kimwipes before you put them in the spinner.
      3. Make sure you dispose of paper towel and Kimwipes inside the trash can.
      4. Magnet, ladder, depth gauge and spinners will be wiped off periodically by the NMR staff.
    4. Ensure that area surrounding the equipment is clear, clean, and disinfected.
    5. Wash hands with soap and water after use.


  1. NMR Data Access and Processing:
    1. To reduce the time spent by users at the NMR facility, the collected NMR data should not be processed at the facility. We just implemented an automatic emailing system on all walk-on spectrometers. After the data collection is done, you will immediately get an email with your data (zipped). Make sure you provide your email in the space above the title window in ICONNMR.
    2. For processing data on your computer, Bruker Topspin is available free of cost for academics. You can download it here: https://www.bruker.com/service/support-upgrades/software-downloads/nmr/free-topspin-processing/nmr-topspin-license-for-academia.html
    3. (You must register to download)


  1. Shutdown:
    1. If the University must shutdown the facility and access to the spectrometer, Damodaran and Rose are responsible for blocking access through FOM and shutting down the instrument properly.

New User Training


Potential new users should contact NMR staff by email to schedule a training. Do not come to the facility or office without an appointment. NMR staff confirm a time with the trainee and reserve the instrument time in advance.

  1. One and only one trainee is allowed per training session. Come alone at the scheduled time.
  2. Per EHS recommendation, a face shield along with a disposable face masks must be worn by both trainer and trainee during the training session, as they might be closer than 6 feet.
  3. Upon entering the CIC, users should wash their hands at the sink in the X-Ray lab (immediately to the right of the entrance).
  4. It is not necessary to bring a sample to the lab. Everything needed for training will be provided by NMR staff.
  5. During training, only staff will operate the spectrometer and other equipment. Staff and users should not share the same keyboard and mouse.
  6. Staff will be responsible for disinfecting the training area after use.


COVID shutdown and clean


Cleaning procedure for MCL instrumentation after it was found to have been recently used by a person who is diagnosed with a COVID infection.

  1. All users will be notified by email that a given piece of equipment was used by a person who tested positive or is showing symptoms for COVID as required by the University of Pittsburgh Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
  2. Block scheduling and access to the equipment and the room in which it is located as required by the current EOC guidelines.
  3. Disinfect entirety of the instrument and its surrounding area by wiping every surface down appropriate disinfectant as required by the current EOC guidelines.
  4. Notify all users by email when the tool is available for use and make it available on FOM.