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Techniques & Tools Spectroscopy, Technology, Pharma & Biopharma

MRR on the Up

What does MRR bring to the table?

What’s long been recognized about microwave spectroscopy is its capability to resolve different compounds – particularly isomers in a mixture – without having to separate components. MRR is unique among spectroscopy techniques; different isomers have different moments of inertia, but with MRR we can resolve them and actually do computational work to determine the pattern of each isomer in the spectra – allowing us to identify it unambiguously. In terms of specificity, there are also amazing advantages to the technique over other methods, especially in the spectroscopy realm – and sample preparation centers on volatilizing the sample.

What advantages does MRR have over chromatography?

MRR identifies and quantifies molecules on the basis of their unique 3D structures, through microwave and millimeter wave spectroscopy. Because of the high selectivity and resolution, pure reference standards of each component of interest are not needed – components can be identified directly in mixtures. This eases a major burden in chromatographic method development. MRR is extremely sensitive to small changes in structure, including diastereomers, regioisomers, and enantiomers, which are often difficult separations. Because of the fast measurement times and method development, MRR is particularly advantageous in reaction monitoring; for example to monitor the yield and specificity of small-molecule continuous flow syntheses.

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About the Authors

Picture of the Author Frank van Geel

Frank van Geel

Frank van Geel is owner of educational website Chromedia and Scientific Director of The Analytical Scientist. He studied analytical chemistry, specialized in mass spectrometry in the Netherlands and did several years of post-doc work in spectroscopy with Jim Winefordner at the University of Florida in the US. Then he became a science teacher and later publisher in chemistry and physics related topics. He developed numerous publications in chemistry and other sciences. He strongly supports the mission: "Building online communities is the road to take. We need to strengthen the quality of analytical chemistry and we need to strengthen our community by sharing know-how and by sharing our opinions, visions and our views of the future of analytical science."


Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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