Effects of glassing matrix deuteration on the relaxation properties of hyperpolarized 13C spins and free radical electrons at cryogenic temperatures

J Chem Phys. 2019 Jun 21;150(23):234307. doi: 10.1063/1.5096036.


Glassing matrix deuteration could be a beneficial sample preparation method for 13C dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) when large electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) width free radicals are used. However, it could yield the opposite DNP effect when samples are doped with small EPR width free radicals. Herein, we have investigated the influence of solvent deuteration on the 13C nuclear and electron relaxation that go along with the effects on 13C DNP intensities at 3.35 T and 1.2 K. For 13C DNP samples doped with trityl OX063, the 13C DNP signals decreased significantly when the protons are replaced by deuterons in glycerol:water or DMSO:water solvents. Meanwhile, the corresponding solid-state 13C T1 relaxation times of trityl OX063-doped samples generally increased upon solvent deuteration. On the other hand, 13C DNP signals improved by a factor of ∼1.5 to 2 upon solvent deuteration of samples doped with 4-oxo-TEMPO. Despite this 13C DNP increase, there were no significant differences recorded in 13C T1 values of TEMPO-doped samples with nondeuterated or fully deuterated glassing matrices. While solvent deuteration appears to have a negligible effect on the electron T1 relaxation of both free radicals, the electron T2 relaxation times of these two free radicals generally increased upon solvent deuteration. These overall results suggest that while the solid-phase 13C DNP signals are dependent upon the changes in total nuclear Zeeman heat capacity, the 13C relaxation effects are related to 2H/1H nuclear spin diffusion-assisted 13C polarization leakage in addition to the dominant paramagnetic relaxation contribution of free radical centers.