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Harnessing asymmetric N-heterocyclic carbene ligands to optimise SABRE hyperpolarisation

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JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 3 Sep 2018
Number of pages9
Early online date18/07/18
Original languageEnglish


The catalytic signal amplification process has become widely used for the hyperpolarisation of small molecules to improve their magnetic resonance detectability. It harnesses the latent polarisation of parahydrogen, and involves the formation of labile metal complex that often contains an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligand (e.g. [Ir(H)2(NHC)(pyridine)3]Cl), which act as a polarisation transfer catalyst. Unfortunately, if the target molecule is too bulky, binding to the catalyst is poor and the hyperpolarisation yield is therefore low. We illustrate here the behaviour of a series of asymmetric NHC containing catalysts towards 3,4- and 3,5-lutidine in order to show how catalyst design can be used to dramatically improve the outcome of this catalytic process for sterically encumbered ligands.

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