van Meerten, S.G., et al., Towards Overhauser DNP in supercritical CO2. J Magn Reson, 2016. 267: p. 30-6.
Overhauser Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (ODNP) is a well known technique to improve NMR sensitivity in the liquid state, where the large polarization of an electron spin is transferred to a nucleus of interest by cross-relaxation. The efficiency of the Overhauser mechanism for dipolar interactions depends critically on fast local translational dynamics at the timescale of the inverse electron Larmor frequency. The maximum polarization enhancement that can be achieved for (1)H at high magnetic fields benefits from a low viscosity solvent. In this paper we investigate the option to use supercritical CO2 as a solvent for Overhauser DNP. We have investigated the diffusion constants and longitudinal nuclear relaxation rates of toluene in high pressure CO2. The change in (1)H T1 by addition of TEMPO radical was analyzed to determine the Overhauser cross-relaxation in such a mixture, and is compared with calculations based on the Force Free Hard Sphere (FFHS) model. By analyzing the relaxation data within this model we find translational correlation times in the range of 2-4ps, depending on temperature, pressure and toluene concentration. Such short correlation times may be instrumental for future Overhauser DNP applications at high magnetic fields, as are commonly used in NMR. Preliminary DNP experiments have been performed at 3.4T on high pressure superheated water and model systems such as toluene in high pressure CO2.