925-456-1020 info@acornnmr.com

Packaging and Shipping of NMR Samples

Samples can be shipped to Acorn NMR for analysis via FedEx, UPS, Airborne, courier, drop-off or any other convenient means. Analyses are performed on a first-come basis, but we will always try to accommodate an urgent request. Customers are encouraged to send email to info@acornnmr.com when samples are shipped. This allows us to plan the next day’s work, and puts your samples higher in the queue.

Dos and Don’ts of sample packaging:
Samples should be placed into small vials, with the top secured with parafilm. Screw caps can work loose due to vibration during shipping.
Place the vials in a ziplock bag or equivalent, in case of leakage
Use sufficient packing material to guard against breakage. Admittedly, this can be a challenge – click here for pictures of some spectacular damage
A sample submission form must be included, but please do not put it into the ziplock bag containing samples

Please * do not use * the cardboard overnight shipping envelopes designed for documents – we suspect these packages are processed on a conveyor belt using giant rollers, because glass sample vials are reduced to powder in the process. See pictures. This not only results in total loss of your sample, but also creates a chemical exposure hazard.

To protect sample vials from being crushed, we suggest packing them in 50 ml centrifuge tubes (available from VWR, http://www.vwrsp.com/catalog/product/index.cgi?object_id=0007157&class_id=5003668) or in VWR’s Fiberboard Mailing Cylinders (http://www.vwr.com/catalog/product/index.cgi?object_id=1203321 ). Then put the tube or cylinder into a “PAK” (large plastic shipping envelope provided by FedEx, UPS, etc).

If the sample is to be dissolved in CDCl3, please use glass vials with teflon-lined caps. To prepare the sample, solvent is added directly to the vial, and CDCl3 will leach components out of plastic, contaminating the sample. The same is true of white rubber which is used to line the caps of some vials.

Amount of sample: (these are rough guidelines, assuming a low MW material and standard 1D experiments)
1H and 19F: a few mg is usually sufficient
13P: 10-20mg, more if small impurities are to be quantitated
13C: preferably 20mg or more, but possible with less

We can work with less material, but that may require longer data acquisition, resulting in higher cost. In all cases, the amount of sample submitted should dissolve in .5ml of the specified solvent.
For very small amounts, the sample can be prepared in less solvent and data acquired using 3mm diameter tubes on the Varian 500, resulting in better sensitivity.

Sample Pickup and Delivery Services: Acorn NMR can arrange for sample pickup and delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area using an outside courier service. The courier service provides overnight and same-day delivery. This is an additional cost item and is added to the customer billing. Samples can also be sent via UPS, FedEx, Airborne or similar.

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Last update for this page: 03/27/12