Nuclear Spins far from Equilibrium

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Chemistry


The project involves the generation, manipulation and application of nuclear spin systems which are far from equilibrium. Modalities of generating non-equilibrium spin systems include the enrichment and chemical reaction of spin isomers such as parahydrogen, and the strong polarization of nuclear spins using dynamic nuclear polarization. Manipulations of these systems to generate highly enhanced NMR signals will be developed. The enhanced NMR signals will be applied to the characterization and imaging of biological processes.


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Bengs C (2020) A master equation for spin systems far from equilibrium. in Journal of magnetic resonance (San Diego, Calif. : 1997)

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Bengs C (2020) Rotational-permutational dual-pairing and long-lived spin order. in The Journal of chemical physics

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Bengs C (2018) SpinDynamica: Symbolic and numerical magnetic resonance in a Mathematica environment. in Magnetic resonance in chemistry : MRC

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Elliott SJ (2018) NMR Lineshapes and Scalar Relaxation of the Water-Endofullerene H O@C. in Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry

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Stevanato G (2017) A pulse sequence for singlet to heteronuclear magnetization transfer: S2hM in Journal of Magnetic Resonance

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1842822 Studentship EP/N509747/1 01/01/2017 31/12/2019 Christian Bengs
Description Nuclear magnetic spins can be visualised as tiny magnets attached to atoms and molecules. These give rise to observable magnetisation. The most prominent example being Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The response of the magnetic spins is in general fairly weak. This means that one has to acquire data for a long time to get a good image for example. In recent years much effort has been put into increasing the sensitivity of magnetic resonance experiments by temporarily increasing the sensitivity. These are called "hyperpolarized" systems. Hyperpolarized systems generate signals with high intensity, which only persist for a short amount. They eventually eventually return to their original value. The process of the enhanced intensity returning to its original value is called relaxation. The mathematical description of this process is fairly involved. Within this project it was found that the current methods to model these phenomena are wrong and a corrected version was suggested.
Exploitation Route People in the field that want to model the relaxation behaviour would need to take the new formalism into account to generate reliable simulations.
Sectors Other

Title SpinDynamica 
Description The developed software package is a Mathematica addon that allows simulation of a wide range of magnetic resonance experiments. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The software package is used by the majority of the group and a big part of the magnetic resonance community.