Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Optimizing sample preparation methods for dynamic nuclear polarization solid-state NMR of synthetic polymers


Le, D., et al., Optimizing sample preparation methods for dynamic nuclear polarization solid-state NMR of synthetic polymers. Macromolecules, 2014: p. 140613123939001.


This work compares the overall sensitivity enhancements provided by dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) for the solid-state NMR characterization of polymer samples doped with biradicals and prepared either by film casting (FC), or by glass forming (GF) using 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane as the solvent. Analysis of amorphous and semicrystalline polymers (polystyrene, poly(ethylene oxide), polylactide, poly(methyl methacrylate)) of varying molecular weights showed that GF provided larger sensitivity enhancements than FC but yielded DNP-enhanced 13C CPMAS spectra of lower resolution for semicrystalline polymers, owing to line-broadening due to conformational distribution of the polymer chains in frozen solution. Moreover, use of deuterated solvents significantly reduced the intensity of the solvent signals in the DNP-enhanced 13C CPMAS spectra of polymers prepared by GF, while preserving the sensitivity enhancement observed for the polymer signals. For the polymers investigated here, both FC and GF performed better than incipient wetness impregnation, yielding overall sensitivity enhancements between 5 and 40.