American Chemical Society
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Improving the Interpretation of Small Molecule Diffusion Coefficients

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-26, 00:00 authored by Robert Evans, Guilherme Dal Poggetto, Mathias Nilsson, Gareth A. Morris
Diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy (DOSY) is increasingly widely used for the analysis of mixtures by NMR spectroscopy, dispersing the signals of different species according to their diffusion coefficients. DOSY is used primarily to distinguish between the signals of different species, with the interpretation of the diffusion coefficients observed usually being purely qualitative, for example to deduce whether one species is bigger or smaller than another. In principle, the actual values of diffusion coefficient obtained carry important information about the sizes of different species and on interactions between species, but the relationship between diffusion coefficient and molecular mass is in general a very complex one. Here a recently proposed analytical relationship between diffusion coefficient and molecular mass for the restricted case of small organic molecules is tested against a wide range of data from the scientific literature and generalized to cover a range of solvents and temperatures.