This work investigates a series of oxoiron complexes that serve as models towards understanding the mechanism of catalysis for certain iron-containing enzymes.

In this study, researchers added a low concentration of the endohedral metallofullerene (EMF) Gd2@C79N to DNP samples, finding that 1H and 13C enhancements increased by 40% and 50%, respectively, at 5 teslas and 1.2 Kelvin.

With just a drop of water, a cobalt-based material changes both color and magnetic properties.

A lot of the research conducted in powerful magnets ends up having a powerful effect on our day-to-day lives.

When a grad student's first publication lands in the top-tier journal Nature, you can bet it's not beginner's luck.

Findings published today in Nature may advance the era of quantum computers.

The HiPER spectrometer may not feature the strongest magnet at the MagLab, but it wins hands down in the "coolest looking" category. This powerful tool, from which protrude 29 black, kooky cones, is now open to scientists.

This week at the lab, one of the instrument's first users, biophysicist Brian Hales of Louisiana State University, is here sizing up proteins with the HiPER (pronounced "hyper") spectrometer, which is shorthand for high-power pulsed W-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) .

The "high-power" part refers to the instrument's recently upgraded 1-kilowatt amplifier. Along with other revolutionary design innovations, it makes possible the machine's game-changing sensitivity.

Depending on the technique used with the instrument, this sensitivity is orders of magnitude greater than what was previously available to scientists. This means scientists can run experiments on a material even if they have a just a teeny, tiny bit of it. This capability is extremely significant in structural biology (among other research areas), when scientists might have just a smidgeon of the protein they want to characterize. 

"Sensitivity is a major concern," said Likai Song, a research scientist with the lab's Electron Magnetic Resonance Facility who works closely with the 9-tesla HiPER spectrometer. "Improved sensitivity opens the door to a lot of applications."

The instrument is not only expected to be a great boon for scientists like Hales who study proteins, but it will also impact all other research areas in the lab, including material science, physics and chemistry, said Song.


Text by Kristen Coyne. Photo by Stephen Bilenky.

A recent high-field EPR study by MagLab users from Wayne State and Grand Valley State Universities has demonstrated that minor changes in the periphery of a nickel-containing molecule can lead to a dramatic reorganization of its electron distribution. This in turn, induces a major shift in the reactivity of this compound.

Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) coupled with solid state NMR can provide orders of magnitude enhancement to normally weak NMR signals, thereby enabling the study of inherently dilute proteins such as membrane proteins. Here we demonstrate a new approach to obtain DNP signal enhancements of membrane proteins by utilizing spin labeled lipids as the polarization agents. This strategy results in more than 2x in signal enhancements of a membrane protein when compared to standard DNP sample preparation techniques.

MagLab users have employed a combination of ab-initio theory and a newly developed high-pressure, high-field ferromagnetic resonance technique, which is uniquely sensitive to anisotropic magnetic interactions, to gain insights into the importance of spin-orbit coupling effects in a range of organic materials where this effect is usually considered to be small. The findings may be applicable to topics as diverse as spintronics and topological spin phases.

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