Magnetic flux tailoring through Lenz lenses for ultrasmall samples: A new pathway to high-pressure nuclear magnetic resonance

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Science Advances  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 12, eaao5242
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5242


A new pathway to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for picoliter-sized samples (including those kept in harsh and extreme environments, particularly in diamond anvil cells) is introduced, using inductively coupled broadband passive electromagnetic lenses, to locally amplify the magnetic field at the isolated sample, leading to an increase in sensitivity. The lenses are adopted for the geometrical restrictions imposed by a toroidal diamond indenter cell and yield signal-to-noise ratios at pressures as high as 72 GPa at initial sample volumes of only 230 pl. The corresponding levels of detection are found to be up to four orders of magnitude lower compared to formerly used solenoidal microcoils. Two-dimensional nutation experiments on long-chained alkanes, CnH2n+2 (n = 16 to 24), as well as homonuclear correlation spectroscopy on thymine, C5H6N2O2, were used to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach for higher-dimensional NMR experiments, with a spectral resolution of at least 2 parts per million. This approach opens up the field of ultrahigh-pressure sciences to one of the most versatile spectroscopic methods available in a pressure range unprecedented up to now.

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