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Open and Closed Radicals: Local Geometry Around Unpaired Electrons Governs MAS DNP Performance

Abstract : The development of magic-angle spinning dynamic nuclear polarization (MAS DNP) has allowed atomiclevel characterization of materials for which conventional solid-state NMR is impractical due to the lack of sensitivity. The rapid progress of MAS DNP has been largely enabled through the understanding of rational design concepts for more efficient polarizing agents (PAs). Here, we identify a new design principle which has so far been overlooked. We find that the local geometry around the unpaired electron can change the DNP enhancement by an order of magnitude for two otherwise identical conformers. We present a set of 13 new stable mono-and di-nitroxide PAs for MAS DNP NMR where this principle is demonstrated. The radicals are divided into two groups of isomers, named open (O-) and closed (C-), based on the ring conformations in the vicinity of the NO bond. In all cases, the open conformers exhibit dramatically improved DNP performance as compared to the closed counterparts. In particular, a new urea-based biradical named HydrOPol and a mono-nitroxide O-MbPyTol yield enhancements of 330 ± 60 and 119 ± 25 at 9.4 T and 100 K respectively, which are the highest enhancements reported so far in the aqueous solvents used here. We find that while the conformational changes do not significantly affect electron spin-spin distances, they do affect the distribution of the exchange couplings in these biradicals. Electron Spin Echo Envelope Modulation (ESEEM) experiments suggest that the improved performance of the open conformers is correlated with higher solvent accessibility.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 11:07:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:41:59 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 6:30:24 PM

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Gabriele Stevanato, Gilles Casano, Dominik Kubicki, Yu Rao, Laura Esteban Hofer, et al.. Open and Closed Radicals: Local Geometry Around Unpaired Electrons Governs MAS DNP Performance. Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society, 2020, 142 (39), pp.16587-16599. ⟨10.1021/jacs.0c04911⟩. ⟨hal-03244394⟩

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