Chapter 20

Following the Clues: Solving Problems in NMR

In This Chapter

arrow Using clues to determine structure

arrow Tackling NMR problems

arrow Avoiding common NMR problem-solving mistakes

I realize that spectroscopy problems are intimidating, particularly when you’re first approaching them. A spectrum presents so much information, so many peaks and lines and squiggles that trying to interpret one for the first time can make you feel like a child trying to read Moby-Dick. The amount of information to absorb makes it hard to even know where to begin.

The trick is not to get intimidated or discouraged. You may groan when you hear this now, but after you’ve worked enough problems to become good at them, solving spectroscopy problems can be really fun. Think of these problems as puzzles whose rules happen to be dictated by nature.

In this chapter, I present a general guide to figuring out the structures of molecules using NMR spectroscopy (for a description of how NMR works, see Chapter 19). Unfortunately, what I present isn’t a definitive guide, because chemists don’t have an indisputable “right way” to solve every NMR problem. Because of this, many textbooks don’t give a specific problem-solving ...

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