429896 Towards the Next Generation of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Harnessing Light and Spin

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Jonathan King, Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and imaging (MRI) are two of the most powerful analytical techniques available to engineers, scientists, and medical professionals, enabling a wide range of chemical and structural analysis. However, they require costly infrastructure and are plagued by low sensitivity resulting from small nuclear spin magnetization. My laboratory will harness the highly polarized spin states of photons and electrons to control nuclear magnetization, resulting in greatly enhanced signals from magnetic resonance techniques. We will build upon my previous work with nitrogen vacancy (NV-) centers in diamond [1,2], where I have demonstrated a 170,000-fold increase in NMR signal from the 13C nuclei in the diamond by coupling the electron and nuclear spin states with microwave irradiation. Future work involves the transfer of this nuclear magnetization to arbitrary samples of interest. This will require development of high-surface area diamond structures, such as diamond nanoparticles, as well as fundamental understanding of transfer mechanisms such as nuclear spin cross relaxation and cross polarization at the diamond surface. These signal enhancements will be transformative, reducing the timescale of medical imaging, allowing the analysis of dilute biomolecules and microscopic samples, and generating technology for portable, low-cost magnetic resonance instruments.


  1. J. P. King, P. J. Coles, J. A. Reimer, “Optical polarization of 13C nuclei in diamond through nitrogen vacancy centers." Physical Review B, 81, 073201 (2010).
  2. J. P. King, K. Jeong, C. C. Vassiliou, C. S. Shin, R. H. Page, C. E. Avalos, H-. J. Wang, and A. Pines. “Room-Temperature in situ Nuclear Spin Hyperpolarization from Optically-Pumped Nitrogen Vacancy Centers in Diamond.” arXiv:1501.02897 [quant-ph] (2015).

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