Quantum sensing with shallow nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond offer promise for chemical analysis. Preserving favorable NV spin and charge properties while enabling molecular surface functionalization remains a critical challenge.
The ATP hydrolysis transition state of motor proteins is a weakly populated protein state that can be stabilized and investigated by replacing ATP with chemical mimics. We present atomic-level structural and dynamic insights on a state created by ADP aluminum fluoride binding to the bacterial DnaB helicase from Helicobacter pylori. We determined the positioning of the metal ion cofactor within the active site using electron paramagnetic resonance, and identified the protein protons coordinating to the phosphate groups of ADP and DNA using proton-detected 31P,1H solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at fast magic-angle spinning > 100 kHz, as well as temperature-dependent proton chemical-shift values to prove their engagements in hydrogen bonds. 19F and 27Al MAS NMR spectra reveal a highly mobile, fast-rotating aluminum fluoride unit pointing to the capture of a late ATP hydrolysis transition state in which the phosphoryl unit is already detached from the arginine and lysine fingers.
The structural characterization of supported molecular catalysts is challenging due to the low density of active sites and the presence of several organic/organometallic surface groups resulting from the often complex surface chemistry associated with support functionalization. Here, we provide a complete atomic-scale description of all surface sites in an N-heterocyclic carbene based on iridium and supported on silica, at all stages of its synthesis. By combining a suitable isotope labeling strategy with the implementation of multinuclear dipolar recoupling DNP-enhanced NMR experiments, the 3D structure of the Ir-NHC sites, as well as that of the synthesis intermediates were determined. As a significant fraction of parent surface fragments does not react during the multistep synthesis, site-selective experiments were implemented to specifically probe proximities between the organometallic groups and the solid support. The NMR-derived structure of the iridium sites points to a well-defined conformation. By interpreting EXAFS spectroscopy and chemical analysis data augmented by computational studies, the presence of two coordination geometries is demonstrated: Ir-NHC fragments coordinated by a 1,5-cyclooctadiene and one Cl ligand, as well as, more surprisingly, a fragment coordinated by two NHC and two Cl ligands. This study demonstrates a unique methodology to disclose individual surface structures in complex, multisite environments, a long-standing challenge in the field of heterogeneous/supported catalysts, while revealing new, unexpected structural features of metallo-NHC-supported substrates. It also highlights the potentially large diversity of surface sites present in functional materials prepared by surface chemistry, an essential knowledge to design materials with improved performances.
Temperature-dependent NMR experiments are often complicated by rather long magnetic-field equilibration times, for example, occurring upon a change of sample temperature. We demonstrate that the fast temporal stabilization of a magnetic field can be achieved by actively stabilizing the temperature of the magnet bore, which allows quantification of the weak temperature dependence of a proton chemical shift, which can be diagnostic for the presence of hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonding plays a central role in molecular recognition events from both fields, chemistry and biology. Their direct detection by standard structure-determination techniques, such as X-ray crystallography or cryo-electron microscopy, remains challenging due to the difficulties of approaching the required resolution, on the order of 1 Å. We, herein, explore a spectroscopic approach using solid-state NMR to identify protons engaged in hydrogen bonds and explore the measurement of proton chemical-shift temperature coefficients. Using the examples of a phosphorylated amino acid and the protein ubiquitin, we show that fast magic-angle spinning (MAS) experiments at 100 kHz yield sufficient resolution in proton-detected spectra to quantify the rather small chemical-shift changes upon temperature variations.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging with shallow nitrogen–vacancy (NV) centers in diamond offers an exciting route toward sensitive and localized chemical characterization at the nanoscale. Remarkable progress has been made to combat the degradation in coherence time and stability suffered by near-surface NV centers using suitable chemical surface termination. However, approaches that also enable robust control over adsorbed molecule density, orientation, and binding configuration are needed. We demonstrate a diamond surface preparation for mixed nitrogen- and oxygen-termination that simultaneously improves NV center coherence times for <10 nm-deep emitters and enables direct and recyclable chemical functionalization via amine-reactive cross-linking. Using this approach, we probe single NV centers embedded in nanopillar waveguides to perform 19F NMR sensing of covalently bound fluorinated molecules with detection on the order of 100 molecules. This work signifies an important step toward nuclear spin localization and structure interrogation at the single-molecule level.
Despite being widely used in numerous catalytic applications, our understanding of reactive surface sites of highsurface-area γ-Al 2 O 3 remains limited to date. Recent contributions have pointed toward the potential role of highly reactive edge sites contained in the high-field signal (−0.5 to 0 ppm) of the 1 H NMR spectrum of γ-Al 2 O 3 materials. This work combines the development of well-defined, needle-shaped γ-Al 2 O 3 nanocrystals having a high relative fraction of edge sites with the use of state-of-the-art solid-state NMR to significantly deepen our understanding of this specific signal. We are able to resolve two hydroxyl sites with distinct isotropic chemical shifts of −0.2 and −0.4 ppm and different positions within the dipole−dipole network from 1 H− 1 H single-quantum double-quantum NMR. Moreover, the use of recoupling-time-encoded arbitrary-indirect-dwell dipolar heteronuclear multiple quantum coherence allows us to partially revise previous assignments for surface-aluminum sites in the proximity of these hydroxyl sites. Although previous work has ascribed the high-field signal to be correlated with a single four-coordinate Al-site with a substantial quadrupolar broadening of >10 MHz, we can identify the presence of two four-coordinate Al-sites with similar isotropic chemical shifts but different quadrupolar coupling constants of approximately 7 and >10 MHz, respectively. Recoupling-time-encoded data are thus able to differentiate sites that would otherwise only be achievable with access to multiple fields or usage of highly advanced NMR techniques.
N-Heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) are widely used ligands in transition metal catalysis. Notably, they are increasingly encountered in heterogeneous systems. While a detailed knowledge of the possibly multiple metal environments would be essential to understand the activity of metal-NHC-based heterogeneous catalysts, only a few techniques currently have the ability to describe with atomic-resolution structures dispersed on a solid support. Here, we introduce a new dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) surface-enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) approach that, in combination with advanced density functional theory (DFT) calculations, allows the structure characterization of isolated silica-supported Pt-NHC sites. Notably, we demonstrate that the signal amplification provided by DNP in combination with fast magic angle spinning enables the implementation of sensitive 13C-195Pt correlation experiments. By exploiting 1 J(13C-195Pt) couplings, 2D NMR spectra were acquired, revealing two types of Pt sites. For each of them, 1 J(13C-195Pt) value was determined as well as 195Pt chemical shift tensor parameters. To interpret the NMR data, DFT calculations were performed on an extensive library of molecular Pt-NHC complexes. While one surface site was identified as a bis-NHC compound, the second site most likely contains a bidentate 1,5-cyclooctadiene ligand, pointing to various parallel grafting mechanisms. The methodology described here represents a new step forward in the atomic-level description of catalytically relevant surface metal-NHC complexes. In particular, it opens up innovative avenues for exploiting the spectral signature of platinum, one of the most widely used transition metals in catalysis, but whose use for solid-state NMR remains difficult. Our results also highlight the sensitivity of 195Pt NMR parameters to slight structural changes.
Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) hyperpolarization technique that mediates polarization transfer from unpaired electrons with large thermal polarization to NMR-active nuclei via microwave (mw) irradiation. The ability to generate arbitrarily shaped mw pulses using arbitrary waveform generators allows for remarkable improvement of the robustness and versatility of DNP. We present here novel design principles based on single-spin vector effective Hamiltonian theory to develop new broadband DNP pulse sequences, namely, an adiabatic version of XiX (X–inverse X)–DNP and a broadband excitation by amplitude modulation (BEAM)–DNP experiment. We demonstrate that the adiabatic BEAM-DNP pulse sequence may achieve a 1 H enhancement factor of ∼360, which is better than ramped-amplitude NOVEL (nuclear spin orientation via electron spin locking) at ∼0.35 T and 80 K in static solids doped with trityl radicals. In addition, the bandwidth of the BEAM-DNP experiments (~50 MHz) is about three times the 1 H Larmor frequency. The generality of our theoretical approach will be helpful in the development of new pulsed DNP sequences.
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