Journal article

The theory of nuclear orientation via electron spin locking (NOVEL)

Nuclear orientation via electron spin locking (NOVEL) is a technique to orient nuclear spins embedded in a solid. Like other methods of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) it employs a small amount of unpaired electron spins and uses a microwave field to transfer the polarization of these unpaired electron spins to the nuclear spins. Traditional DNP uses CW microwave fields, but NOVEL uses pulsed electron spin resonance (ESR) techniques: a 90 degree pulse-90 degree phase shift-locking pulse sequence is applied and during the locking pulse the polarization transfer is assured by satisfying the Hartmann-Hahn condition. The transfer is coherent and similar to coherence transfer between nuclear spins. However, NOVEL requires an extension of the existing theory to many, inequivalent nuclear spins and to arbitrary, i.e. high electron and nuclear spin polarization. In this paper both extensions are presented. The theory is applied to the system naphthalene doped with pentacene, where the proton spins are polarized using the photo-excited triplet states of the pentacene molecules and found to show excellent agreement with the experimentally observed evolution of the polarization transfer during the locking pulse.


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