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  1. Zero- to ultralow-field (ZULF) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a version of NMR that allows studying molecules and their transformations in the regime dominated by intrinsic spin-spin interactions. While spin dynamics at zero magnetic field can be probed indirectly, J-spectra can also be measured at zero field by using non-inductive sensors, for example, optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs). A J-spectrum can be detected when a molecule contains at least two different types of magnetic nuclei (i.e., nuclei with different gyromagnetic ratios) that are coupled via J-coupling. Up to date, no pure J-spectra of molecules featuring the coupling to quadrupolar nuclei were reported. Here we show that zero-field J-spectra can be collected from molecules containing quadrupolar nuclei with I = 1 and demonstrate this for solutions containing various isotopologues of ammonium cations. Lower ZULF NMR signals are observed for molecules containing larger numbers of deuterons compared to protons; this is attributed to less overall magnetization and not to the scalar relaxation of the second kind. We analyze the energy structure and allowed transitions for the studied molecular cations in detail using perturbation theory and demonstrate that in the studied systems, different lines in J-spectra have different dependencies on the magnetic pulse length allowingmore »for unique on-demand zero-field spectral editing. Precise values for the 15N-1H, 14N-1H, and D-1H coupling constants are extracted from the spectra and the difference in the reduced coupling constants is explained by the secondary isotope effect. Simple symmetric cations such as ammonium do not require expensive isotopic labeling for the observation of J-spectra and, thus, may expand the applicability of ZULF NMR spectroscopy in biomedicine and energy storage.« less
  2. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a well-established analytical technique used to study chemicals and their transformations. However, high-eld NMR spectroscopy necessitates advanced infrastructure and even cryogen-free benchtop NMR spectrometers cannot be readily assembled from commercially available components. We demonstrate the construction of a portable zero-field NMR spectrometer employing a commercially available magnetometer and investigate its applications in analytical chemistry. In particular, J-spectra of small representative biomolecules [13C]-formic acid, [1-13C]-glycine, [2,3-13C]-fumarate, and [1-13C]-D-glucose were acquired and an approach relying on the presence of a transverse magnetic eld during the detection was investigated for relaxometry purposes. We found that water relaxation time strongly depends on the concentration of dissolved D-glucose in the range of 1-10 mM suggesting opportunities for indirect assessment of glucose concentration in aqueous solutions. Extending analytical capabilities of zero-field NMR to aqueous solutions of simple biomolecules (aminoacids, sugars and metabolites) and relaxation studies of aqueous solutions of glucose highlight the analytical potential of non-invasive and portable ZULF NMR sensors for applications outside of research laboratories.
  3. Hyperpolarized fumarate is a promising agent for carbon-13 magnetic resonance metabolic imaging of cellular necrosis. Molecular imaging applications require nuclear hyperpolarization to attain sufficient signal strength. Dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization is the current state-of-the-art methodology for hyperpolarizing fumarate, but this is expensive and relatively slow. Alternatively, this important biomolecule can be hyperpolarized in a cheap and convenient manner using parahydrogen-induced polarization. However, this process requires a chemical reaction, and the resulting hyperpolarized fumarate solutions are contaminated with the catalyst, unreacted reagents, and reaction side product molecules, and are hence unsuitable for use in vivo. In this work, we show that the hyperpolarized fumarate can be purified from these contaminants by acid precipitation as a pure solid, and later redissolved at a chosen concentration in a clean aqueous solvent. Significant advances in the reaction conditions and reactor equipment allow us to form hyperpolarized fumarate at a concentration of several hundred millimolar, at 13C polarization levels of 30-45%.
  4. Abstract

    Zero- to ultralow-field (ZULF) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an emerging tool for precision chemical analysis. In this work, we study dynamic processes and investigate the influence of chemical exchange on ZULF NMRJ-spectra. We develop a computational approach that allows quantitative calculation ofJ-spectra in the presence of chemical exchange and apply it to study aqueous solutions of [15N]ammonium (15N$${\mathrm{H}}_4^ +$$H4+) as a model system. We show that pH-dependent chemical exchange substantially affects theJ-spectra and, in some cases, can lead to degradation and complete disappearance of the spectral features. To demonstrate potential applications of ZULF NMR for chemistry and biomedicine, we show a ZULF NMR spectrum of [2-13C]pyruvic acid hyperpolarized via dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (dDNP). We foresee applications of affordable and scalable ZULF NMR coupled with hyperpolarization to study chemical exchange phenomena in vivo and in situations where high-field NMR detection is not possible to implement.