Quantum rotor induced hyperpolarization

Christian Ludwig, Martin Saunders, Ildefonso Marin-Montesinos, Ulrich L Günther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Despite its broad applicability NMR has always been limited by its inherently low sensitivity. Hyperpolarization methods have the potential to overcome this limitation and, in the case of ex situ dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), large enhancement factors have been achieved. Although many other polarization methods have been described in the past, including chemically and parahydrogen-induced polarization and optical pumping, DNP has recently been the most popular. Here we present an additional polarization mechanism arising from quantum rotor effects in methyl groups, which generates polarizations at temperatures <1.5 K and interferes with DNP at such temperatures. The polarization generated by this mechanism is efficiently transferred via carbon bound protons. Although quantum rotor polarizations have been studied for a small range of molecules in great detail, we observe such effects for a much broader range of substances with very different polarization rates at temperatures <1.5 K. Moreover, we report transfer of quantum rotor polarization across a chain of protons. The observed effect not only influences the polarization in low-temperature DNP experiments but also opens a new independent avenue to generate enhanced sensitivity for NMR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10799-10803
Number of pages5
JournalNational Academy of Sciences. Proceedings
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2010


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