Monday, August 18, 2014

The role of level anti-crossings in nuclear spin hyperpolarization

Ivanov, K.L., et al., The role of level anti-crossings in nuclear spin hyperpolarization. Prog. NMR. Spec., 2014. 81(0): p. 1-36.

Nuclear spin hyperpolarization is an important resource for increasing the sensitivity of NMR spectroscopy and MRI. Signal enhancements can be as large as 3–4 orders of magnitude. In hyperpolarization experiments, it is often desirable to transfer the initial polarization to other nuclei of choice, either protons or insensitive nuclei such as 13C and 15N. This situation arises primarily in Chemically Induced Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (CIDNP), Para-Hydrogen Induced Polarization (PHIP), and the related Signal Amplification By Reversible Exchange (SABRE). Here we review the recent literature on polarization transfer mechanisms, in particular focusing on the role of Level Anti-Crossings (LACs) therein. So-called “spontaneous” polarization transfer may occur both at low and high magnetic fields. In addition, transfer of spin polarization can be accomplished by using especially designed pulse sequences. It is now clear that at low field spontaneous polarization transfer is primarily due to coherent spin-state mixing under strong coupling conditions. However, thus far the important role of LACs in this process has not received much attention. At high magnetic field, polarization may be transferred by cross-relaxation effects. Another promising high-field technique is to generate the strong coupling condition by spin locking using strong radio-frequency fields. Here, an analysis of polarization transfer in terms of LACs in the rotating frame is very useful to predict which spin orders are transferred depending on the strength and frequency of the B1 field. Finally, we will examine the role of strong coupling and LACs in magnetic-field dependent nuclear spin relaxation and the related topic of long-lived spin-states.