Advanced NMR for sustainability
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful methods in chemical analysis. This project aims at development and application of advanced experimental, computational and theoretical NMR methods for sustainable materials research. We will exploit the high sensitivity and efficiency of so-called ultrafast Laplace NMR (UF-LNMR) in the characterization of various materials such as sustainable cements with low CO2 emissions and recyclable superabsorbents used for recovering oil and chemical spills. We will develop hypersensitive, non-toxic NMR sensors for sustainable materials, catalysis and biomolecules. We will create entirely new branch of spectroscopy relying on optical detection of nuclear magnetization and making it use for chemical analysis. Furthermore, we aim at multiscale modeling of entire experimental processes. The simulations provide microscopic, molecular-level interpretation for all experimental work in the project.
NMR Research Unit is an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50% with a PhD degree. We develop experimental, theoretical and computational research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programs. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with five high-field spectrometers (300-600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarization), two portable low-field instruments as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer centre (12 PFlop/s total capacity). Local linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure are used for high-throughput production calculations.