73057 - Methods of Structural Characterization

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The main aim of the course is to provide a description of theoretical and experimental aspects of: 1) Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR); in particular, the basis of the theory of pulsed NMR will be explained, the 1D and 2D NMR experiments will be described and their applications for the determination of a complex structure. 2) Mass spectrometry; in particular, the ionization techniques to determine the mass of macromolecules. Also other important aspects will be examined such as molecular recognition, a phenomenon which is the basis of many vital processes.

Course contents

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance:

a) Nuclear spin and resonance. The rotating frame of reference. Pulses. Chemical shifts and couplings

b) Pulsed Tecniques. The vector model. Fourier trasformation. Spin relaxation. T1. Spin-echoes.  T2. APT. Solvent suppression.

c) Polarization Transfer, INEPT, DEPT.


e) NOE Effect. Steady-state NOE, transient NOE, NOESY. Spin-locking, TOCSY and ROESY.


Mass Spectrometry

a) Ionization Tecniques: Electron Ionization and Chemical Ionization. Mass analyzers: magnetic sectors, quadrupolar analyzer, FT-ICR, time of flight (TOF). Ion detector.

b) Ionization Tecniques of macromolecules by desorption: elettrospray ionization (ESI-MS), Atmospheric pressure chemical Ionization (APCI) ( Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI). Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB).

c) GC-MS, HPLC-MS, Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS-MS). Peptide and protein analysis.


'High-Resolution NMR Techniques in Organic Chemistry'

T. D. W. Claridge

Pergamon Press 1999

'Identificazione spettrometrica di composti organici'

R. M. Silverstein, F. X. Webster, D. J. Kiemle, D. L. Bryce

3a Ed., Casa Editrice Ambrosiana 2016

'Mass Spectrometry fo Biotechnology'

G. Siuzdak

Academic Press 1996

Teaching methods

Theoretical lessons

Assessment methods

Oral examination in which a description of the basis on which the various instrumental techniques arefounded and their use in solving chemical problemsare required.

Teaching tools

Power point slides

Office hours

See the website of Elisabetta Mezzina