Researchers will gain new insights into engineering materials and pharmaceuticals thanks to the creation of the UK’s most powerful nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) device for solids.

Sited in a national research facility in Warwick University’s Centre for Magnetic Resonance, the 850MHz Solid-State NMR Facility was launched yesterday and is open to UK scientists.

The facility has been made possible by the award of a £3.7m grant from the EPSRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

It also received funding through the Birmingham Science City initiative, supported by Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund.

The new facility was formally launched by David Delpy, the chief executive of EPSRC.

‘NMR spectroscopy is a vital analytical tool,’ said Delpy. ‘It is a powerful technique that can provide detailed information on the topology, dynamics and three-dimensional structure of molecules in solution and the solid state.’

‘This facility provides a significant leap in the capability available to the UK’s NMR spectroscopy researchers that allows us to compete with the very best in the world,’ said Prof Mark Smith, deputy vice-chancellor of Warwick University. ‘It is certain to provide us with new insights into everything from potential new pharmaceuticals to innovative materials for the next generation of catalytic convertors.’