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Direct chiral discrimination in NMR spectroscopy




Conventional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is unable to distinguish between the two mirror-image forms (enantiomers) of a chiral molecule. This is because the NMR spectrum is determined by the chemical shifts and spin-spin coupling constants which - in the absence of a chiral solvent - are identical for the two enantiomers. We discuss how chirality may nevertheless be directly detected in liquid-state NMR spectroscopy: In a chiral molecule, the rotating nuclear magnetic moment induces an electric dipole moment in the direction perpendicular to itself and to the permanent magnetic field of the spectrometer. We present computations of the precessing electric polarization following a pi/2 pulse. Our estimates indicate that the electric polarization should be detectable in favourable cases. We also predict that application of an electrostatic field induces a chirally sensitive magnetization oscillating in the direction of the permanent magnetic field. We show that the electric-field-perturbed chemical shift tensor, the nuclear magnetic shielding polarizability, underlies these chiral NMR effects. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Buckingham, AD and Fischer, Peer
Volume: 324
Number (issue): 1
Pages: 111-116
Year: 2006

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemphys.2005.10.009


  title = {Direct chiral discrimination in NMR spectroscopy},
  author = {Buckingham, AD and Fischer, Peer},
  journal = {CHEMICAL PHYSICS},
  volume = {324},
  number = {1},
  pages = {111-116},
  year = {2006}