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A Formulation Protocol with Pyridine to Enable Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Surface-Enhanced NMR Spectroscopy on Reactive Surface Sites: Case Study with Olefin Polymerization and Metathesis Catalysts

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journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2020, 16:37 by Alexander V. Yakimov, Deni Mance, Keith Searles, Christophe Copéret
Dynamic nuclear polarization surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy (DNP-SENS) has emerged as a powerful characterization tool in material chemistry and heterogeneous catalysis by dramatically increasing, by up to 2 orders of magnitude, the NMR signals associated with surface sites. DNP-SENS mostly relies on using exogenous polarizing agents (PAs), typically dinitroxyl radicals, to boost the NMR signals. However, the PAs may interact with the surface or even react with surface sites, thus leading to loss or quenching of DNP enhancements. Herein, we describe the development of a DNP-SENS formulation that allows broadening the application of DNP-SENS to samples containing highly reactive surface sites, namely a Ziegler–Natta propylene polymerization catalyst, a sulfated zirconia-supported metallocene, and a silica-supported cationic Mo alkylidene. The protocol consists of adsorbing pyridine prior to the DNP formulation (TEKPol/TCE). The addition of pyridine not only preserves the PAs and thereby restores the DNP enhancement but also allows probing Lewis/Brønsted acid surface sites that are often present on these catalysts.