Methods development for single-sided NMR

NMR is an extraordinarily insensitive technique—approximately one of every one-hundred thousand nuclear spins actually contributes to the signal of interest. While this problem plagues all of NMR, it is particularly exacerbated by the relatively weak and strongly inhomogeneous field produced by single-sided magnets. Finding ways around these signal limitations, and working creatively within them, is a major focus of our research.

Ultrafast Relaxation Measurements

Single-sided magnets have an intrinsic magnetic field gradient: the field is stronger close to the magnet than it is far away from the magnet. Since the frequencies that we detect depend on the strength of the magnetic field, we can use the gradient of our devices to relate spatial position and detection frequency. In practice, this allows us to manipulate different regions of our sample in different ways at the same time. Careful design of the experimental setup then allows us to collect multidimensional NMR data much faster than traditionally done. We have used these ultrafast experiments to simultaneously measure the relaxation properties T1 and T2, and have used relaxation-based methods to detect T2 and molecular self-diffusion (D) simultaneously.