Enhancing the Sensitivity of Solid-State NMR Experiments with Very Low Gyromagnetic Ratio Nuclei with Fast Magic Angle Spinning and Proton Detection
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Many transition metals commonly encountered in inorganic materials and organometallic compounds possess NMR-active nuclei with very low gyromagnetic ratios (γ) such as 89Y, 103Rh, 109Ag, and 183W. A low-γ leads to poor NMR sensitivity and other experimental challenges. Consequently, nuclei with low-γ are often impossible to study with conventional solid-state NMR methods. Here, we combine fast magic angle spinning (MAS) and proton detection to enhance the sensitivity of solid-state NMR experiments with very low-γ nuclei by 1–2 orders of magnitude. Coherence transfer between 1H and low-γ nuclei was performed with low-power double quantum (DQ) or zero quantum (ZQ) cross-polarization (CP) or dipolar refocused insensitive nuclei enhanced by polarization transfer (D-RINEPT). Comparison of the absolute sensitivity of CP NMR experiments performed with proton detection with 1.3 mm rotors and direct detection with 4 mm rotors shows that proton detection with a 1.3 mm rotor provides a significant boost in absolute sensitivity, while requiring approximately 1/40th of the material required to fill a 4 mm rotor. Fast MAS and proton detection were applied to obtain 89Y and 103Rh solid-state NMR spectra of organometallic complexes. These results demonstrate that proton detection and fast MAS represents a general approach to enable and accelerate solid-state NMR experiments with very low-γ nuclei.