Matsuki, Y., et al., Helium-cooling and -spinning dynamic nuclear polarization for sensitivity-enhanced solid-state NMR at 14T and 30K. J. Magn. Reson., 2012. 225(0): p. 1-9.
We describe a 1H polarization enhancement via dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) at very low sample temperature T ≈ 30 K under magic-angle spinning (MAS) conditions for sensitivity-enhanced solid-state NMR measurement. Experiments were conducted at a high external field strength of 14.1 T. For MAS DNP experiments at T ≪ 90 K, a new probe system using cold helium gas for both sample-cooling and -spinning was developed. The novel system can sustain a low sample temperature between 30 and 90 K for a period of time >10 h under MAS at νR ≈ 3 kHz with liquid He consumption of ≈6 L/h. As a microwave source, we employed a high-power, continuously frequency-tunable gyrotron. At T ≈ 34 K, 1H DNP enhancement factors of 47 and 23 were observed with and without MAS, respectively. On the basis of these observations, a discussion on the total NMR sensitivity that takes into account the effect of sample temperature and external field strength used in DNP experiments is presented. It was determined that the use of low sample temperature and high external field is generally rewarding for the total sensitivity, in spite of the slower polarization buildup at lower temperature and lower DNP efficiency at higher field. These findings highlight the potential of the current continuous-wave DNP technique also at very high field conditions suitable to analyze large and complex systems, such as biological macromolecules.