Sample volume effects in optical overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization

Daniel Cheney, Chris Wedge

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The optical dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) method has been proposed as an alternative to microwave pumping as a hyperpolarization method for solution-state NMR studies. Using continuous laser illumination to photogenerate triplet states in the presence of a persistent radical produces chemically-induced dynamic electron polarization (CIDEP) via the radical-triplet pair mechanism (RTPM), with cross-relaxation transferring this to nuclear hyperpolarization via an Overhauser mechanism. Numerical simulations have previously indicated that reducing the sample volume while maintaining a constant optical density can significantly increase the NMR signal enhancement, due to the larger steady-state concentration of triplets obtained. Here we provide the first experimental confirmation of these effects, producing a nearly five-fold increase in the optical DNP enhancement factor just by reducing the sample volume with optimal dye and radical concentrations adjusted for each optical path length. The results are supported with an in depth analysis of volume effects in the numerical model, with which they are in good qualitative agreement. These important observations will impact on the future development of the technique, with particular significance for attempts to apply DNP methods to increase sensitivity for volume-limited biological samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107170
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Early online date28 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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