Accurate 1H-14N distance measurements by phase-modulated RESPDOR at ultra-fast MAS

Nghia Tuan Duong, Federica Rossi, Maria Makrinich, Amir Goldbourt, Michele R. Chierotti, Roberto Gobetto, Yusuke Nishiyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The combination of a phase-modulated (PM) saturation pulse and symmetry-based dipolar recoupling into a rotational-echo saturation-pulse double-resonance (RESPDOR) sequence has been employed to measure 1H-14N distances. Such a measurement is challenging owing to the quadrupolar interaction of 14N nucleus and the intense 1H-1H homonuclear dipolar interactions. Thanks to the recent advances in probe technology, the homonuclear dipolar interaction can be sufficiently suppressed at a fast MAS frequency (νR ≥ 60 kHz). PM pulse is robust to large variations of parameters on quadrupolar spins, but it has not been demonstrated under very fast MAS conditions. On the other hand, the RESPDOR sequence is applicable to such condition when it employs symmetry-based pulses during the recoupling period, but a prior knowledge on the system is required. In this article, we demonstrated the PM-RESPDOR combination for providing accurate 1H-14N distances at a very fast MAS frequency of 70 kHz on two samples, namely L-tyrosine⋅HCl and N-acetyl-L-alanine. This sequence, supported by simulations and experiments, has shown its feasibility at νR = 70 kHz as well as the robustness to the 14N quadrupolar interaction. It is applicable to a wide range of 1H-14N dipolar coupling constants when a radio frequency field on the 14N channel is approximately 80 kHz or more, while the PM pulse length lasts 10 rotor periods. For the first time, multiple 1H-14N heteronuclear dipolar couplings, thus multiple quantitative distances, are simultaneously and reliably extracted by fitting the experimental fraction curves with the analytical expression. The size of the 1H-14N dipolar interaction is solely used as a fitting parameter. These determined distances are in excellent agreement with those derived from diffraction techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106559
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • H-N distance measurement
  • Phase-modulated pulse
  • Ultra-fast MAS


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