Nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance with chemical resolution

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Science  01 Jun 2017:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8697

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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a key analytical technique in chemistry, biology and medicine. However, conventional NMR spectroscopy requires at least nanoliter sized sample volume to achieve sufficient signal. Here we combine the use of a quantum memory and high magnetic fields with a dedicated quantum sensor based on nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond to achieve chemical shift resolution in 1H and 19F NMR spectroscopy of 20 zeptoliter sample volumes. We demonstrate the application of NMR pulse sequences to achieve homonuclear decoupling and spin diffusion measurements. The best measured NMR linewidth of a liquid sample was ∼1 part per million, mainly limited by molecular diffusion. To mitigate the influence of diffusion we performed high resolution solid state NMR by applying homonuclear decoupling and achieved a 20-fold narrowing of the NMR linewidth.

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