Monday, August 27, 2012

Solid effect in magic angle spinning dynamic nuclear polarization

Corzilius, B., A.A. Smith, and R.G. Griffin, Solid effect in magic angle spinning dynamic nuclear polarization. J. Chem. Phys., 2012. 137(5): p. 054201-12.


For over five decades, the solid effect (SE) has been heavily utilized as a mechanism for performing dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). Nevertheless, it has not found widespread application in contemporary, high magnetic field DNP experiments because SE enhancements display an omega(0) (-2) field dependence. In particular, for nominally forbidden zero and double quantum SE transitions to be partially allowed, it is necessary for mixing of adjacent nuclear spin states to occur, and this leads to the observed field dependence. However, recently we have improved our instrumentation and report here an enhancement of varepsilon = 91 obtained with the organic radical trityl (OX063) in magic angle spinning experiments performed at 5 T and 80 K. This is a factor of 6-7 higher than previous values in the literature under similar conditions. Because the solid effect depends strongly on the microwave field strength, we attribute this large enhancement to larger microwave field strengths inside the sample volume, achieved with more efficient coupling of the gyrotron to the sample chamber. In addition, we develop a theoretical model to explain the dependence of the buildup rate of enhanced nuclear polarization and the steady-state enhancement on the microwave power. Buildup times and enhancements were measured as a function of (1)H concentration for both trityl and Gd-DOTA. Comparison of the results indicates that for trityl the initial polarization step is the slower, rate-determining step. However, for Gd-DOTA the spread of nuclear polarization via homonuclear (1)H spin diffusion is rate-limiting. Finally, we discuss the applicability of the solid effect at fields > 5 T and the requirements to address the unfavorable field dependence of the solid effect.