Transition Metal Doping Reveals Link between Electron T 1 Reduction and 13 C Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Efficiency

J Phys Chem A. 2017 Dec 7;121(48):9221-9228. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpca.7b09448. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Optimal efficiency of dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is essential to provide the required high sensitivity enhancements for in vitro and in vivo hyperpolarized 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging (MRI). At the nexus of the DNP process are the free electrons, which provide the high spin alignment that is transferred to the nuclear spins. Without changing DNP instrumental conditions, one way to improve 13C DNP efficiency is by adding trace amounts of paramagnetic additives such as lanthanide (e.g., Gd3+, Ho3+, Dy3+, Tb3+) complexes to the DNP sample, which has been observed to increase solid-state 13C DNP signals by 100-250%. Herein, we have investigated the effects of paramagnetic transition metal complex R-NOTA (R = Mn2+, Cu2+, Co2+) doping on the efficiency of 13C DNP using trityl OX063 as the polarizing agent. Our DNP results at 3.35 T and 1.2 K show that doping the 13C sample with 3 mM Mn2+-NOTA led to a substantial improvement of the solid-state 13C DNP signal by a factor of nearly 3. However, the other transition metal complexes Cu2+-NOTA and Co2+-NOTA complexes, despite their paramagnetic nature, had essentially no impact on solid-state 13C DNP enhancement. W-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements reveal that the trityl OX063 electron T1 was significantly reduced in Mn2+-doped samples but not in Cu2+- and Co2+-doped DNP samples. This work demonstrates, for the first time, that not all paramagnetic additives are beneficial to DNP. In particular, our work provides a direct evidence that electron T1 reduction of the polarizing agent by a paramagnetic additive is an essential requirement for the improvement seen in solid-state 13C DNP signal.