Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) 101: A New Era for Materials

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  • The design of new materials requires a deep understanding of the intricacies underpinning their structure–property relationships. These relationships are modified through synthesis and processing to create materials with new properties and characteristics to achieve a wide range of applications. With the entirety of the periodic table at one’s fingertips, understanding the unique microstructure of each of these materials is often challenging. One technique that is expanding the robust ability of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to delve into these details is dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). The advent and continual progress in DNP development has allowed researchers to tackle new problems where traditional NMR approaches would have been impractical. This methods/protocols article serves as a general overview of high-field DNP, a polarization technique that boosts the sensitivity of NMR spectroscopy. Some of the nuances of the technique, as well as a few hurdles it aims to overcome in materials science, are discussed. The advances made from utilizing DNP continue to propel the materials field forward, whether it is the need to understand the surface/core features of nanoparticles, active sites on heterogeneous catalytic supports, the complex interfaces in battery materials, or drug-loading of carbonaceous nanofibrils. High-field DNP continues to deliver remarkable results and insights, emerging as an indispensable method for materials science structure determination.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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