Quantitative Solid-State 13C NMR Spectra with Signal Enhancement by Multiple Cross-Polarization

Robert L. Johnson and Klaus Schmidt-Rohr
J. Magn. Reson.


A simple new method is presented that yields quantitative solid-state magic-angle spinning (MAS) 13C NMR spectra of organic materials with good signal-to-noise ratios. It achieves long (>10 ms) cross polarization (CP) from 1H without significant magnetization losses due to relaxation and with a moderate duty cycle of the radio-frequency irradiation, by multiple 1-ms CP periods alternating with 1H spin–lattice relaxation periods that repolarize the protons. The new method incorporates previous techniques that yield less distorted CP/MAS spectra, such as a linear variation (“ramp”) of the radio-frequency field strength, and it overcomes their main limitation, which is T1ρ relaxation of the spin-locked 1H magnetization. The ramp of the radio-frequency field strength and the asymptotic limit of cross polarization makes the spectral intensity quite insensitive to the exact field strengths used. The new multiCP pulse sequence is a “drop-in” replacement for previous CP methods and produces no additional data-processing burden. Compared to the only reliable quantitative 13C NMR method for unlabeled solids previously available, namely direct-polarization NMR, the measuring time is reduced by more than a factor of 50, enabling higher-throughput quantitative NMR studies. The new multiCP technique is validated with 14-kHz MAS on amino-acid derivatives, plant matter, a highly aromatic humic acid, and carbon materials made by low-temperature pyrolysis.