High-Resolution Liquid- and Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance of Nanoliter Sample Volumes using Microcoil Detectors,

A. P. M. Kentgens, J. Bart, P. J. M. van Bentum, A. Brinkmann, E. R. H. van Eck, J. G. E. Gardeniers, J. W. G. Janssen, P. Knijn, S. Vasa, and M. Verkuijlen,
J. Chem. Phys. 128, 052202, (2008).
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The predominant means to detect nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is to monitor the voltage induced in a radiofrequency coil by the precessing magnetization. To address the sensitivity of NMR for mass-​limited samples it is worthwhile to miniaturize this detector coil. Although making smaller coils seems a trivial step, the challenges in the design of microcoil probeheads are to get the highest possible sensitivity while maintaining high-​resolution and keeping the versatility to apply all known NMR experiments. This means that the coils have to be optimized for a given sample geometry, circuit losses should be avoided, susceptibility broadening due to probe materials has to be minimized and finally the B1-fields generated by the RF-coils should be homogeneous over the sample area. This contribution compares three designs that have been miniaturized for NMR detection; solenoid coils, flat helical coils and the novel stripline and microslot designs. So far most emphasis in microcoil research was in liquid-​state NMR. This contribution gives an overview of the state-​of-​the-​art of microcoil solid-​state NMR by reviewing literature data and showing the latest results in the development of static and microMAS solenoid-​based probeheads. Besides their mass-​sensitivity microcoils can generate tremendously high RF-fields which is very useful in various solid-​state NMR experiments. The benefits of the stripline geometry for studying thin films are shown. This geometry also proves to be a superior solution for microfluidic NMR implementations in terms of sensitivity and resolution.