What are the most negative and the most positive values for proton chemical shifts recorded till present?

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect the most positive values can be found in superacidic media such as $\ce{HF - SbF5}$, which contain extremely poorly solvated, essentially bare $\ce{H^+}$ ions. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2014 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ What are the values? $\endgroup$
    – EJC
    Aug 22, 2014 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ It's been ages, but I stumbled on this article at random, showing a number of very closely related compounds with proton chemical shifts that vary from -58 ppm to +140 ppm! There are also some amusing carbon-13 shifts to be had. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2019 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


I don't know if the following two examples present the "largest" upfield and downfield proton-nmr chemical shifts, but I suspect they're in the running. The dihydropyrene dianion example has 16 pi electrons

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delocalized around the periphery of the pyrene frame. It fits the 4n rule with n=4, so it is antiaromatic. The [16]-annulene dianion has 18 pi electrons and fits the 4n+2 rule with n=4, so it is aromatic. Note how the direction of the ring current reverses between antiaromatic (paramagnetic current) and aromatic (diamagnetic current) systems. More intesting proton chemical shifts can be found in this compilation.


Guilty of thinking organic. If we're including inorganic proton shifts, then how about IrHCl2(PMe(t-Bu)2)2 which has a chemical shift of -50.5!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I examined the link you posted. I see the rhodium-pentacyano-hydride has around -10 ppm and that theoretically, a naked proton would have a chemical shift of 40 ppm (which is probably the maximum possible). So I will take the most negative shift to be -10 ppm, and the most positive "measured" to be 21.24 ppm. If anyone finds some even more extreme values, I would like to see them. $\endgroup$
    – EJC
    Aug 22, 2014 at 19:51

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