Magic angle spinning NMR with metallized rotors as cylindrical microwave resonators

Magn Reson Chem. 2018 Sep;56(9):831-835. doi: 10.1002/mrc.4744. Epub 2018 May 16.


We introduce a novel design for millimeter wave electromagnetic structures within magic angle spinning (MAS) rotors. In this demonstration, a copper coating is vacuum deposited onto the outside surface of a sapphire rotor at a thickness of 50 nm. This thickness is sufficient to reflect 197-GHz microwaves, yet not too thick as to interfere with radiofrequency fields at 300 MHz or prevent sample spinning due to eddy currents. Electromagnetic simulations of an idealized rotor geometry show a microwave quality factor of 148. MAS experiments with sample rotation frequencies of ωr /2π = 5.4 kHz demonstrate that the drag force due to eddy currents within the copper does not prevent sample spinning. Spectra of sodium acetate show resolved 13 C J-couplings of 60 Hz and no appreciable broadening between coated and uncoated sapphire rotors, demonstrating that the copper coating does not prevent shimming and high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Additionally, 13 C Rabi nutation curves of ω1 /2π = 103 kHz for both coated and uncoated rotors indicate no detrimental impact of the copper coating on radio frequency coupling of the nuclear spins to the sample coil. We present this metal coated rotor as a first step towards an MAS resonator. MAS resonators are expected to have a significant impact on developments in electron decoupling, pulsed dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), room temperature DNP, DNP with low-power microwave sources, and electron paramagnetic resonance detection.

Keywords: dynamic nuclear polarization; electron decoupling; magic angle spinning; pulsed DNP; solid state NMR; time domain DNP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Microwaves
  • Models, Molecular
  • Physical Phenomena
  • Sodium Acetate / analysis


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Sodium Acetate
  • Copper