COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University chemist and his colleagues are taking new, high-tech materials for a spin -- inside a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrument.
The American, French And Danish researchers recently discovered that they can obtain more precise data about a material's atomic structure, and do it faster than ever before possible, if they spin the material at just the right speed inside the NMR instrument.
Philip Grandinetti, associate professor of chemistry at Ohio State, and his research partners have named their new technique FASTER, short for "FAst Spinning gives Transfer Enhancement at Rotary resonance."
FASTER eliminates the signal interference that plagues traditional techniques for studying materials using NMR.
In a recent issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics, the chemists reported that spinning samples at speeds of up to 30,000 cycles per second can, in many cases, boost the signal strength of the NMR measurements more than ten times over. "This is a big advance for people who want to study the atomic level structure of almost any solid material -- ceramics, plastics, glasses, or catalysts," Grandinetti said. "Even for peptides, proteins, or DNA, FASTER could shorten the time necessary for studying a substance from weeks to mere hours."