He, Y., et al., A peripheral component interconnect express-based scalable and highly integrated pulsed spectrometer for solution state dynamic nuclear polarization. Rev Sci Instrum, 2015. 86(8): p. 083101.
High sensitivity, high data rates, fast pulses, and accurate synchronization all represent challenges for modern nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, which make any expansion or adaptation of these devices to new techniques and experiments difficult. Here, we present a Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe)-based highly integrated distributed digital architecture pulsed spectrometer that is implemented with electron and nucleus double resonances and is scalable specifically for broad dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhancement applications, including DNP-magnetic resonance spectroscopy/imaging (DNP-MRS/MRI). The distributed modularized architecture can implement more transceiver channels flexibly to meet a variety of MRS/MRI instrumentation needs. The proposed PCIe bus with high data rates can significantly improve data transmission efficiency and communication reliability and allow precise control of pulse sequences. An external high speed double data rate memory chip is used to store acquired data and pulse sequence elements, which greatly accelerates the execution of the pulse sequence, reduces the TR (time of repetition) interval, and improves the accuracy of TR in imaging sequences. Using clock phase-shift technology, we can produce digital pulses accurately with high timing resolution of 1 ns and narrow widths of 4 ns to control the microwave pulses required by pulsed DNP and ensure overall system synchronization. The proposed spectrometer is proved to be both feasible and reliable by observation of a maximum signal enhancement factor of approximately -170 for (1)H, and a high quality water image was successfully obtained by DNP-enhanced spin-echo (1)H MRI at 0.35 T.