The group develops new approaches both for structural characterization of complex surfaces e.g. new functional materials for energy and catalysis, and for the determination of molecular structures from powders, such as pharmaceutical materials. The group currently progresses towards these challenges along two main directions:

Dynamic nuclear polarization surface enhanced NMR. The group introduced a new surface characterisation method, dubbed DNP SENS, in 2010 which aims to characterize very low surface area advanced materials (~1 m2/g); we achieve this by aiming to increase the sensitivity of the method by innovative NMR experiments, isotopic labeling and high magnetic fields, and to develop NMR correlation methods in order to determine structure-activity-property relationships and catalytically relevant surface species

Powder NMR crystallography. Expert in this field, the group currently focuses in developing new approaches using only chemical shifts as experimental constraints, improving the processes used in computational structure prediction, and including further easily measurable NMR parameters into the protocol. The group also aims to increase the resolution of proton solid-state NMR spectroscopy by new strategies for homonuclear decoupling. Furthermore the group develops a better understanding of fundamental processes such as spin-diffusion, notably through the introduction of the LCL calculation method. In this area the group targets new applications to large organic pharmaceutically related molecules, especially through in situ crystallography of multi-component formulations.

Recent Highligths

  • Introduction of a powder NMR crystallography method that enabled the determination of a previously unknown structure of a large drug molecule in powder form and at natural isotopic abundance by NMR
  • 2 patents in collaboration: New rigid dinitroxydes as polarization agents for dynamic nuclear polarization ; Porous and structured materials for dynamic nuclear polarization, process for their preparation and NMR analysis method
  • Paper out in PNAS showing how to use hybrid materials as polarizing agents for dissolution DNP – Access to paper

Dr. Anne LESAGE, Group leader –