Lange, S., et al., The effect of biradical concentration on the performance of DNP-MAS-NMR. J. Magn. Reson., 2012. 216(0): p. 209-212.
With the technique of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) signal intensity in solid-state MAS-NMR experiments can be enhanced by 2–3 orders of magnitude. DNP relies on the transfer of electron spin polarization from unpaired electrons to nuclear spins. For this reason, stable organic biradicals such as TOTAPOL are commonly added to samples used in DNP experiments. We investigated the effects of biradical concentration on the relaxation, enhancement, and intensity of NMR signals, employing a series of samples with various TOTAPOL concentrations and uniformly 13C, 15N labeled proline. A considerable decrease of the NMR relaxation times (T1, T2∗, and T1rho) is observed with increasing amounts of biradical due to paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE). For nuclei in close proximity to the radical, decreasing T1rho reduces cross-polarization efficiency and decreases in T2∗ broaden the signal. Additionally, paramagnetic shifts of 1H signals can cause further line broadening by impairing decoupling. On average, the combination of these paramagnetic effects (PE; relaxation enhancement, paramagnetic shifts) quenches NMR-signals from nuclei closer than 10Å to the biradical centers. On the other hand, shorter T1 times allow the repetition rate of the experiment to be increased, which can partially compensate for intensity loss. Therefore, it is desirable to optimize the radical concentration to prevent additional line broadening and to maximize the signal-to-noise observed per unit time for the signals of interest.