Billion-fold enhancement in sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for magnesium ions in solution

Chemphyschem. 2014 Dec 15;15(18):3929-32. doi: 10.1002/cphc.201402619. Epub 2014 Oct 9.


β-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is highly sensitive compared to conventional NMR spectroscopy, and may be applied for several elements across the periodic table. β-NMR has previously been successfully applied in the fields of nuclear and solid-state physics. In this work, β-NMR is applied, for the first time, to record an NMR spectrum for a species in solution. (31)Mg β-NMR spectra are measured for as few as 10(7) magnesium ions in ionic liquid (EMIM-Ac) within minutes, as a prototypical test case. Resonances are observed at 3882.9 and 3887.2 kHz in an external field of 0.3 T. The key achievement of the current work is to demonstrate that β-NMR is applicable for the analysis of species in solution, and thus represents a novel spectroscopic technique for use in general chemistry and potentially in biochemistry.

Keywords: NMR spectroscopy; magnesium; radionuclides; ultrasensitivity; β-NMR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ionic Liquids / chemistry
  • Magnesium / analysis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Solutions


  • Ionic Liquids
  • Radioisotopes
  • Solutions
  • Magnesium