Friday, May 20, 2011

Quantifying the transfer and settling in NMR experiments with sample shuttling

Granwehr, J., et al., Quantifying the transfer and settling in NMR experiments with sample shuttling. J. Chem. Phys., 2010. 132(24): p. 244507-13

Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR in combination with pulsed magnetic field gradients has proven very successful for measuring molecular diffusion, where the correlation time of the motion is much shorter than the timescale of the experiment. In this article, it is demonstrated that a single-scan NMR technique to measure molecular diffusion can be employed to also study incoherent random motions over macroscopic length scales that show correlation times similar to the timescale of the experiment. Such motions are observed, for example, after the mixing of two components or after transferring a sample from one container into another. To measure the fluid settling, a series of magnetization helices were encoded onto a sample. Stimulated gradient echo trains were then generated after different mixing times, which enabled the determination of an effective dispersion coefficient for the fluid. This technique was used to optimize the timing of NMR experiments combined with dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization, where a sample was shuttled between two magnets. In addition to the decay of fluid turbulences, the presence of microbubbles in the sample tube at the end of the shuttling step was identified as another contribution to the NMR linewidth. Microbubbles could be indirectly observed through the line broadening effect on the NMR signal due to their different susceptibility compared to the solvent, which induced field gradients near the interfaces. Using these data, the signal attenuation caused by sample motion in single-scan two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy NMR experiments could be predicted with reasonable accuracy.