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The nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation data analysis in solids: general R1/R1(ρ) equations and the model-free approach.

Published Article
The Journal of Chemical Physics
American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1063/1.3658383
PMID: 22088049


The advantage of the solid state NMR for studying molecular dynamics is the capability to study slow motions without limitations: in the liquid state, if orienting media are not used, all anisotropic magnetic interactions are averaged out by fast overall Brownian tumbling of a molecule and thus investigation of slow internal conformational motions (e.g., of proteins) in solution can be conducted using only isotropic interactions. One of the main tools for obtaining amplitudes and correlation times of molecular motions in the μs time scale is measuring relaxation rate R(1)(ρ). Yet, there have been a couple of unresolved problems in the quantitative analysis of the relaxation rates. First, when the resonance offset of the spin-lock pulse is used, the spin-lock field can be oriented under an arbitrary angle in respect to B(0). Second, the spin-lock frequency can be comparable or even less than the magic angle spinning rate. Up to now, there have been no equations for R(1)(ρ) that would be applicable for any values of the spin-lock frequency, magic angle spinning rate and resonance offset of the spin-lock pulse. In this work such equations were derived for two most important relaxation mechanisms: heteronuclear dipolar coupling and chemical shift anisotropy. The validity of the equations was checked by numerical simulation of the R(1)(ρ) experiment using SPINEVOLUTION program. In addition to that, the applicability of the well-known model-free approach to the solid state NMR relaxation data analysis was considered. For the wobbling in a cone at 30° and 90° cone angles and two-site jump models, it has been demonstrated that the auto-correlation functions G(0)(t), G(1)(t), G(2)(t), corresponding to different spherical harmonics, for isotropic samples (powders, polycrystals, etc.) are practically the same regardless of the correlation time of motion. This means that the model-free approach which is widely used in liquids can be equally applied, at least assuming these two motional models, to the analysis of the solid state NMR relaxation data.

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