Multi-resonant photonic band-gap/saddle coil DNP probehead for static solid state NMR of microliter volume samples #DNPNMR
Nevzorov, Alexander A., Sergey Milikisiyants, Antonin N. Marek, and Alex I. Smirnov. “Multi-Resonant Photonic Band-Gap/Saddle Coil DNP Probehead for Static Solid State NMR of Microliter Volume Samples.” Journal of Magnetic Resonance 297 (December 2018): 113–23.
The most critical condition for performing Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) is achieving sufficiently high electronic B1e fields over the sample at the matched EPR frequencies, which for modern high-resolution NMR instruments fall into the millimeter wave (mmW) range. Typically, mmWs are generated by powerful gyrotrons and/or extended interaction klystrons (EIKs) sources and then focused onto the sample by dielectric lenses. However, further development of DNP methods including new DNP pulse sequences may require B1e fields higher than one could achieve with the current mmW technology. In order to address the challenge of significantly enhancing the mmW field at the sample, we have constructed and tested one-dimensional photonic band-gap (PBG) mmW resonator that was incorporated inside a double-tuned radiofrequency (rf) NMR saddle coil. The photonic crystal is formed by stacking ceramic discs with alternating high and low dielectric constants. The thicknesses of the discs are chosen to be λ/4 or 3λ/4, where λ is the wavelength of the incident mmW field in the corresponding dielectric material. When the mmW frequency is within the band gap of the photonic crystal, a defect created in the middle of the crystal confines the mmW energy, thus forming a resonant structure. An aluminum mirror in the middle of the defect has been used to split the structure in order to reduce its size and simplify the resonator tuning. The latter is achieved by adjusting the width of the defect by moving the aluminum mirror with respect to the dielectric stack using a gear mechanism. The 1D PBG resonator was the key element for constructing a multi-resonant integrated DNP/NMR probehead operating at 198 GHz EPR / 300 MHz 1H / 75.5 MHz 13C NMR frequencies. Initial tests of the multi-resonant DNP/NMR probehead were carried out using a quasioptical 200 GHz bridge and a Bruker Biospin Avance II spectrometer equipped with a standard Bruker 7 T wide-bore 89 mm magnet parked at 300.13 MHz 1H NMR frequency. The mmW bridge built with all solid-state active components allows for the frequency tuning between ca. 190 to ca. 198 GHz with the output power up to 27 dBm (0.5 W) at 192 GHz and up to 23 dBm (0.2 W) at 197.5 GHz. Room temperature DNP experiments with a synthetic single crystal high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) diamond (0.3Å~0.3Å~3.0 mm3) demonstrated dramatic 1,500–fold enhancement of 13C natural abundance NMR signal at full incident mmW power. Significant 13C DNP enhancement (of about 90) have been obtained at incident mmW powers of as low as <100 μW. Further tests of the resonator performance have been carried out with a thin (ca. 100 μm thickness) composite polystyrene-microdiamond film by controlling the average mmW power at the optimal DNP conditions via a gated mode of operation. From these experiments, the PBG resonator with loaded Q≃250 and finesse provides up to 12-fold/11 db gain in the average mmW power vs. the non-resonant probehead configuration employing only a reflective mirror.