Solid-state NMR spectroscopy

Bernd Reif, Sharon E Ashbrook, Lyndon Emsley, Mei Hong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an atomic-level method used to determine the chemical structure, three-dimensional structure, and dynamics of solids and semi-solids. This Primer summarizes the basic principles of NMR as applied to the wide range of solid systems. The fundamental nuclear spin interactions and the effects of magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses on nuclear spins are the same as in liquid-state NMR. However, because of the anisotropy of the interactions in the solid state, the majority of high-resolution solid-state NMR spectra is measured under magic-angle spinning (MAS), which has profound effects on the types of radiofrequency pulse sequences required to extract structural and dynamical information. We describe the most common MAS NMR experiments and data analysis approaches for investigating biological macromolecules, organic materials, and inorganic solids. Continuing development of sensitivity-enhancement approaches, including 1H-detected fast MAS experiments, dynamic nuclear polarization, and experiments tailored to ultrahigh magnetic fields, is described. We highlight recent applications of solid-state NMR to biological and materials chemistry. The Primer ends with a discussion of current limitations of NMR to study solids, and points to future avenues of development to further enhance the capabilities of this sophisticated spectroscopy for new applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages23
JournalNature Reviews Methods Primers
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021


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