Lee, D., et al., Enhanced Solid-State NMR Correlation Spectroscopy of Quadrupolar Nuclei Using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization. J Am Chem Soc, 2012. 134(45): p. 18491-18494.
By means of a true sensitivity enhancement for a solid-state NMR spectroscopy (SSNMR) experiment performed under dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) conditions, corresponding to 4-5 orders of magnitude of time savings compared with a conventional SSNMR experiment, it is shown that it is possible to record interface-selective (27)Al-(27)Al two-dimensional dipolar correlation spectra on mesoporous alumina, an advanced material with potential industrial applications. The low efficiency of cross-polarization and dipolar recoupling for quadrupolar nuclei is completely negated using this technique. The important presence of pentacoordinated Al has not only been observed, but its role in bridging interfacial tetra- and hexacoordinated Al has been determined. Such structural information, collected at low temperature ( approximately 103 K) and 9.4 T with the use of DNP, would have been impossible to obtain under standard conditions, even using a higher magnetic field. However, here it is demonstrated that this information can be obtained in only 4 h. This work clearly opens a new avenue for the application of SSNMR to quadrupolar nuclei and notably the atomic-scale structure determination of catalysis materials such as mesoporous alumina.