Primary Research Initiative on Magnetic Resonance Of the Solid-state for Energy (PRIMROSE)

The Vision:  AMES will lead the advancement of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SS-NMR) science that addresses challenging problems relevant to the mission of DOE.  We will develop methods that enable facile detection of naturally abundant elements never before possible, provide means for structural elucidations at extremely low concentrations, and accelerate time-dependent experiments.

The Ames Laboratory has a unique concentration of solid-state NMR expertise with four Principle Investigators being recognized as “undisputed world-wide leaders in the field”, as noted in a 2010 DOE review.  Developments will include techniques that allow for studies under ultrafast magic angle spinning and at variable-temperature from 0.05-500 K; measurement of sideband-free spectra of high-Z spin-1/2 nuclei such as 125Te, 207Pb, 119Sn, 113Cd, and 195Pt; utilization of gradients for selective excitation and coherence control; and exploration of new methods for increasing nuclear polarization.

We will advance a technique that uses microwave irradiation to polarize unpaired electrons and transfer the polarization to the nuclei.  This technique, known as dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), will provide unique capabilities in the US for studies of catalysts, biomolecular materials and inorganic materials relevant to the DOE mission.  Instrumentation advances such as aberration correction for TEMs have been exceptional in terms of the tools’ scientific impact, and DNP promises to be similarly transformative for solid-state NMR.  This technique is a game-changer because of its signal enhancement factors.