Thesis by A. Lucini Paioni MSc (NMR Spectroscopy)

PhD defence: Developing novel applications of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization in solid-state NMR Spectroscopy

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy provides a unique window into the atomic world, revealing information on the structures and dynamics of molecules without altering their properties. However, the intrinsically low sensitivity of NMR imposes significant challenges for its application. Thus, NMR has greatly benefited from the advent of sensitivity enhanced methods. One such method is Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP), a technique applicable to a variety of fields, including structural biology, biophysics, medicine and chemistry.

In this thesis, we aimed to contribute to the further advancement of the DNP technique. These contributions include methodological developments and novel applications of DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR. High-sensitivity NMR approaches are employed on a variety of systems to answer specific questions in life and material science. For instance, in-cell structural studies are carried out and target molecules are probed directly in their natural setting at the atomic level, providing structural information which could not be gained without the sensitivity boost obtained by employing DNP.

Moreover, zeolite-based catalytic systems are investigated and the distinctive chemistry between the zeolite and reaction products during catalysis is elucidated. (DNP-enhanced) solid-state NMR spectroscopy is a non-invasive approach and therefore constitutes an ideal method to probe molecular structures, investigate the reaction mechanism in heterogeneous catalysis and characterize the catalyst itself. Finally, strategies to further improve sensitivity at high magnetic fields are described and new polarizing agents are presented, along with an investigation on their potential for biomolecular applications.

Start date and time
End date and time
Universtity Hall (Academiegebouw), Domplein 29 & online (link)
PhD candidate
A. Lucini Paioni MSc
Developing novel applications of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization in solid-state NMR Spectroscopy
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. M. Baldus