Increasing sensitivity of pulse EPR experiments using echo train detection schemes

F. Mentink-Vigier, A. Collauto, A. Feintuch, I. Kaminker, V. Tarle, D. Goldfarb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern pulse EPR experiments are routinely used to study the structural features of paramagnetic centers. They are usually performed at low temperatures, where relaxation times are long and polarization is high, to achieve a sufficient Signal/Noise Ratio (SNR). However, when working with samples whose amount and/or concentration are limited, sensitivity becomes an issue and therefore measurements may require a significant accumulation time, up to 12 h or more. As the detection scheme of practically all pulse EPR sequences is based on the integration of a spin echo - either primary, stimulated or refocused - a considerable increase in SNR can be obtained by replacing the single echo detection scheme by a train of echoes. All these echoes, generated by Carr-Purcell type sequences, are integrated and summed together to improve the SNR. This scheme is commonly used in NMR and here we demonstrate its applicability to a number of frequently used pulse EPR experiments: Echo-Detected EPR, Davies and Mims ENDOR (Electron-Nuclear Double Resonance), DEER (Electron-Electron Double Resonance|) and EDNMR (Electron-Electron Double Resonance (ELDOR)-Detected NMR), which were combined with a Carr-Purcell- Meiboom-Gill (CPMG) type detection scheme at W-band. By collecting the transient signal and integrating a number of refocused echoes, this detection scheme yielded a 1.6-5 folds SNR improvement, depending on the paramagnetic center and the pulse sequence applied. This improvement is achieved while keeping the experimental time constant and it does not introduce signal distortion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Carr
  • DEER
  • ELDOR-detected
  • EPR
  • Echo train
  • NMR
  • Pulse
  • Purcell sequence
  • Signal noise ratio (SNR)
  • W-band


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