Monday, April 11, 2016

Low-temperature dynamic nuclear polarization with helium-cooled samples and nitrogen-driven magic-angle spinning


Thurber, K. and R. Tycko, Low-temperature dynamic nuclear polarization with helium-cooled samples and nitrogen-driven magic-angle spinning. J Magn Reson, 2016. 264: p. 99-106.


We describe novel instrumentation for low-temperature solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) and magic-angle spinning (MAS), focusing on aspects of this instrumentation that have not been described in detail in previous publications. We characterize the performance of an extended interaction oscillator (EIO) microwave source, operating near 264GHz with 1.5W output power, which we use in conjunction with a quasi-optical microwave polarizing system and a MAS NMR probe that employs liquid helium for sample cooling and nitrogen gas for sample spinning. Enhancement factors for cross-polarized (13)C NMR signals in the 100-200 range are demonstrated with DNP at 25K. The dependences of signal amplitudes on sample temperature, as well as microwave power, polarization, and frequency, are presented. We show that sample temperatures below 30K can be achieved with helium consumption rates below 1.3l/h. To illustrate potential applications of this instrumentation in structural studies of biochemical systems, we compare results from low-temperature DNP experiments on a calmodulin-binding peptide in its free and bound states.