Mar 20, 2019

Experimental quantification of electron spectral-diffusion under static DNP conditions #DNPNMR

Kundu, Krishnendu, Marie Ramirez Cohen, Akiva Feintuch, Daniella Goldfarb, and Shimon Vega. “Experimental Quantification of Electron Spectral-Diffusion under Static DNP Conditions.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 21, no. 1 (2019): 478–89.


Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) is an efficient technique for enhancing NMR signals by utilizing the large polarization of electron spins to polarize nuclei. The mechanistic details of the polarization transfer process involve the depolarization of the electrons resulting from microwave (MW) irradiation (saturation), as well as electron–electron cross-relaxation occurring during the DNP experiment. Recently, electron–electron double resonance (ELDOR) experiments have been performed under DNP conditions to map the depolarization profile along the EPR spectrum as a consequence of spectral diffusion. A phenomenological model referred to as the eSD model was developed earlier to describe the spectral diffusion process and thus reproduce the experimental results of electron depolarization. This model has recently been supported by quantum mechanical calculations on a small dipolar coupled electron spin system, experiencing dipolar interaction based cross-relaxation. In the present study, we performed a series of ELDOR measurements on a solid glassy solution of TEMPOL radicals in an effort to substantiate the eSD model and test its predictability in terms of electron depolarization profiles, in the steady-state and under non-equilibrium conditions. The crucial empirical parameter in this model is LeSD, which reflects the polarization exchange rate among the electron spins. Here, we explore further the physical basis of this parameter by analyzing the ELDOR spectra measured in the temperature range of 3–20 K and radical concentrations of 20–40 mM. Simulations using the eSD model were carried out to determine the dependence of LeSD on temperature and concentration. We found that for the samples studied, LeSD is temperature independent. It, however, increases with a power of B2.6 of the concentration of TEMPOL, which is proportional to the average electron–electron dipolar interaction strength in the sample.