July 10, 2020

Three new papers have been published.

On May 8, 2020, June 9, 2020 and July 6, 2020 three further papers have been published.

The papers are titled, “Hyperpolarized water through dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization with UV-generated radicals“, “Laser-Synthesis of NV-Centers-Enriched Nanodiamonds: Effect of Different Nitrogen Sources” and “Germanium iodide mediated synthesis of nanodiamonds from adamantane “seeds” under moderate high-pressure high-temperature conditions“, and involve researchers from IIT and MPG respectively.

Below the abstracts of the papers are included, as well as links to the journals. All papers have been published open access.

Hyperpolarized water through dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization with UV-generated radicals

In recent years, hyperpolarization of water protons via dissolution Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (dDNP) has attracted increasing interest in the magnetic resonance community. Hyperpolarized water may provide an alternative to Gd-based contrast agents for angiographic and perfusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examinations, and it may report on chemical and biochemical reactions and proton exchange while perfoming Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) investigations. However, hyperpolarizing water protons is challenging. The main reason is the presence of radicals, required to create the hyperpolarized nuclear spin state. Indeed, the radicals will also be the main source of relaxation during the dissolution and transfer to the NMR or MRI system. In this work, we report water magnetizations otherwise requiring a field of 10,000 T at room temperature on a sample of pure water, by employing dDNP via UV-generated, labile radicals. We demonstrate the potential of our methodology by acquiring a 15N spectrum from natural abundance urea with a single scan, after spontaneous magnetization transfer from water protons to nitrogen nuclei.


Laser-Synthesis of NV-Centers-Enriched Nanodiamonds: Effect of Different Nitrogen Sources

Due to the large number of possible applications in quantum technology fields—especially regarding quantum sensing—of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in nanodiamonds (NDs), research on a cheap, scalable and effective NDs synthesis technique has acquired an increasing interest. Standard production methods, such as detonation and grinding, require multistep post-synthesis processes and do not allow precise control in the size and fluorescence intensity of NDs. For this reason, a different approach consisting of pulsed laser ablation of carbon precursors has recently been proposed. In this work, we demonstrate the synthesis of NV-fluorescent NDs through pulsed laser ablation of an N-doped graphite target. The obtained NDs are fully characterized in the morphological and optical properties, in particular with optically detected magnetic resonance spectroscopy to unequivocally prove the NV origin of the NDs photoluminescence. Moreover, to compare the different fluorescent NDs laser-ablation-based synthesis techniques recently developed, we report an analysis of the effect of the medium in which laser ablation of graphite is performed. Along with it, thermodynamic aspects of the physical processes occurring during laser irradiation are analyzed. Finally, we show that the use of properly N-doped graphite as a target for laser ablation can lead to precise control in the number of NV centers in the produced NDs.


Germanium iodide mediated synthesis of nanodiamonds from adamantane “seeds” under moderate high-pressure high-temperature conditions

There is an emerging demand for nanodiamonds with controlled structures or shapes for applications in biomedical imaging and sensing. Synthetic conditions proceeding at less harsh temperatures and pressures are considered crucial to control nanodiamond formation process. We report a germanium iodide (GeI4) mediated synthesis of nanodiamonds from diamondoid molecules and alkane hydrocarbon under moderate high-pressure high-temperature (m-HPHT) conditions. For the first time, GeI4 is used to generate nanodiamonds at 3.5 GPa and 500 °C, which is considerably lower than the conditions reported for common HPHT methods for nanodiamond synthesis. The strategy reported herein allows synthesizing nanodiamonds based on well-defined molecular precursors, which paves the way to a bottom-up diamond synthesis designed at a molecular level.