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Materials often contain minor heterogeneous phases that are difficult to characterize yet nonetheless significantly influence important properties. Here we describe a solid-state NMR strategy for quantifying minor heterogenous sample regions containing dilute, essentially uncoupled nuclei in materials where the remaining nuclei experience heteronuclear dipolar couplings. NMR signals from the coupled nuclei are dephased while NMR signals from the uncoupled nuclei can be amplified by one or two orders of magnitude using Carr-Meiboom-Purcell-Gill (CPMG) acquisition. The signal amplification by CPMG can be estimated allowing the concentration of the uncoupled spin regions to be determined even when direct observation of the uncoupled spin NMR signal in a single pulse experiment would require an impractically long duration of signal averaging. We use this method to quantify residual graphitic carbon using 13C CPMG NMR in poly(carbon monofluoride) samples synthesized by direct fluorination of carbon from various sources. Our detection limit for graphitic carbon in these materials is better than 0.05 mol%. The accuracy of the method is discussed and comparisons to other methods are drawn.

Citation

Brennan J Walder, Todd M Alam. Quantification of Uncoupled Spin Domains in Spin-Abundant Disordered Solids. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 May 30;21(11)

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PMID: 32486288

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