An apparatus for pulsed ESR and DNP experiments using optically excited triplet states down to liquid helium temperatures
In standard Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) electron spins are polarized at low temperatures in a strong magnetic field and this polarization is transferred to the nuclear spins by means of a microwave field. To obtain high nuclear polarizations cryogenic equipment reaching temperatures of 1 K or below and superconducting magnets delivering several Tesla are required. This equipment strongly limits applications in nuclear and particle physics where beams of particles interact with the polarized nuclei, as well as in neutron scattering science. The problem can be solved using short-lived optically excited triplet states delivering the electron spin. The spin is polarized in the optical excitation process and both the cryogenic equipment and magnet can be simplified significantly. A versatile apparatus is described that allows to perform pulsed dynamic nuclear polarization experiments at X-band using short-lived optically excited triplet sates. The efficient He-4 flow cryostat that cools the sample to temperatures between 4 K and 300 K has an optical access with a coupling stage for a fiber transporting the light from a dedicated laser system. It is further designed to be operated on a neutron beam. A combined pulse ESR/DNP spectrometer has been developed to observe and characterize the triplet states and to perform pulse DNP experiments. The ESR probe is based on a dielectric ring resonator of 7 mm inner diameter that can accommodate cubic samples of 5 mm length needed for neutron experiments. NMR measurements can be performed during DNP with a coil integrated in the cavity. With the presented apparatus a proton polarization of 0.5 has been achieved at 0.3 T. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.