Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most information-rich analytical techniques available. However, it is also inherently insensitive, and this drawback precludes the application of NMR spectroscopy to mass- and volume-limited samples. We review a particular approach to increase the sensitivity of NMR experiments, namely the use of miniaturized coils. When the size of the coil is reduced, the sample volume can be brought down to the nanoliter range. We compare the main coil geometries (solenoidal, planar, and microslot/stripline) and discuss their applications to the analysis of mass-limited samples. We also provide an overview of the hyphenation of microcoil NMR spectroscopy to separation techniques and of the integration with lab-on-a-chip devices and microreactors.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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