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IMT 33-20 Master Thesis: NMR measurements for oligosaccharide solutions

Organizational unit

Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT)

Job description

Aside of conventional measurement and analysis methods, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis is a handy tool for retrieving data on physical, chemical and biological processes with high time and spatial resolution. Generally, certain nuclei – most prominent cases are 1H, 13C and 19F – being inside molecules to be analyzed are polarized by more or less strong magnetic fields. The loss of polarization can be precisely measured, providing information about the position and the chemical or physical behavior of the nucleus or the respective molecule. In general, high magnetic fields are used for the polarization and the measurement providing a good spatial and time resolution. However, lower field strength can be used for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); recently developed benchtop NMR systems are available for on-site chemical lab analysis at lower resolution. The magnetic field strength is then in the range of about 1.2 – 1.5 T.

Oligosaccharides are amongst the most important products for food industry. However, it is not trivial to gain information on the content of different oligosaccharide mixtures, especially by in-situ and operando measurement techniques.

Aim of the Master Thesis

Within the thesis, different oligosaccharide mixtures shall be characterized using high field (hf) NMR and low field (lf) NMR. The saccharides shall be prepared with different solvents, and then measured to clarify on one hand the mixture content, on the other hand the structural constitution of the complex oligosaccharides, if possible. Standard sample glasses shall be used for this objective, suitable for both hf and lf NMR. If possible, the tests can be extended to flowthrough experiments of diluted oligosaccharide solutions through lf NMR.

The master candidate will be supervised at KIT / IMT, where also the work will take place. However, the thesis is set as a combined project with an industrial partner, thus, the candidate will have a master student contract with the company being paid with salary above statutory minimum wage.

The master thesis work should take place as follows:

  • Literature review for background.
  • Preparation of oligosaccharide solutions (concentrated, diluted) with different solvents..
  • Measurements and interpretation of results: hf NMR, comparison with HPLC results (provided by industrial partner).
  • Measurements and interpretation of results: lf NMR, comparison with HPLC results (provided by industrial partner).
  • (if time allows: flowthrough measurements with lf NMR)
  • Documentation and thesis writing.

Time schedule

For the master thesis, a time schedule is foreseen as follows:

Literature review: 4 weeks

Preparation of oligosaccharide solutions (concentrated, diluted) with different solvents:
2 weeks

hf NMR measurements: 6 weeks

lf NMR measurements: 6 weeks

Documentation and Thesis writing: 6 weeks

In total, 24 weeks (= 6 months) are assumed.

Starting date is planned to be Mar 1, 2021, end date should be Aug 31, 2021.

Further information on the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT):

Starting date


Personal qualification

Good knowledge in mechanical or chemical engineering, basic knowledge in NMR technology, basic knowledge in behavior in a chemical laboratory

Field of study: Mechanical Eng.; Chemical Eng., Physics, Biochemical Eng.

Contract Duration

6- months according to study regulations

Contact person in line-management

Prof. Dr. Jürgen J. Brandner, IMT,
+49 721 608-23963 (e-mail:

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number IMT 33-20.

Ausschreibungsnummer: IMT 33-20

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


Personnel Support is provided by:
Ms Schaber
Phone: +49 721 608-25184,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany