FlowNMR spectroscopy is a powerful technique for gaining insight into dynamic reaction systems in their native environment, allowing the observation of subtle reagent interactions, fleeting intermediates, and steady-state distribution of catalytic states. Quantification of the latter over time and correlation with the reaction progress and selectivity profile of the reaction allows distinguishing in-cycle intermediates from inactive at- or off-cycle states, knowledge that may be used for mechanistic understanding that allows for rationally improved catalyst performance. I will discuss the key prerequisites of effective FlowNMR setups and procedures required to generate meaningful data, show some approaches for improving heteronuclear sensitivity, and present example applications to industrially relevant homogeneous catalysis with transition metal complexes.
Ulrich Hintermair studied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in Würzburg and Lyon with a stint at the University of St Andrews. After completing his PhD with Walter Leitner at Aachen he was a Humboldt fellow with Bob Crabtree at Yale University. In 2013 he started his independent academic career in Bath where he currently holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Research in his group revolves around catalysis with metal complexes, including organometallic chemistry and real-time spectroscopy for mechanistic investigations. In 2016 he established the Dynamic Reaction Monitoring (DReaM) Facility which he leads as Scientific Director.