The synthesis of organic compounds has developed into one of the most important branches of chemistry, pharmaceutical science and biomedicine. Organic reactions can often contain a high level of complexity. Each step of a synthesis involves a chemical reaction, and reagents and conditions for each of these reactions need to be designed to give a good yield and a pure product, with as little work as possible.
The use of analytical techniques at all stages of the chemical reaction gives valuable information about the reaction process and allows for reaction optimisation, checking of reaction completion and presence of contaminants.
The technique of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) delivers unique structural information about small molecules, identifying functional groups, molecular backbone and the chemical environment of the nuclei. It is widely used for the simple and rapid measurement of many organic synthesis processes.