Repository logo

Paramagnetic NMR in solution and the solid state

Accepted version



Change log


Pintacuda, Guido 
Pell, Andrew 


The field of paramagnetic NMR has expanded considerably in recent years, both in solution and the solid state. This review addresses both the theoretical description of paramagnetic NMR, and the way in which it is currently practised. We provide a review of the theory of the NMR parameters of systems in both solution and the solid state. Here we unify the different languages used by the NMR, EPR, quantum chemistry/DFT, and magnetism communities to provide a comprehensive and coherent theoretical description. We cover the theory of the paramagnetic shift and shift anisotropy in solution both in the traditional formalism in terms of the magnetic susceptibility tensor, and using a more modern formalism employing the relevant EPR parameters, such as are used in first-principles calculations. In addition we examine the theory first in the simple non-relativistic picture, and then in the presence of spin-orbit coupling. These ideas are then extended to a description of the paramagnetic shift in periodic solids, where it is necessary to include the bulk magnetic properties, such as magnetic ordering at low temperatures. The description of the paramagnetic shift is completed by describing the current understanding of such shifts due to lanthanide and actinide ions. We then examine the paramagnetic relaxation enhancement, using a simple model employing a phenomenological picture of the electronic relaxation, and again using a more complex state-of-the-art theory which incorporates electronic relaxation explicitly. An additional important consideration in the solid state is the impact of bulk magnetic susceptibility effects on the form of the spectrum, where we include some ideas from the field of classical electrodynamics. We then continue by describing in detail the solution and solid-state NMR methods that have been deployed in the study of paramagnetic systems in chemistry, biology, and the materials sciences. Finally we describe a number of case studies in paramagnetic NMR that have been specifically chosen to highlight how the theory in part one, and the methods in part two, can be used in practice. The systems chosen include small organometallic complexes in solution, solid battery electrode 3 materials, metalloproteins in both solution and the solid state, systems containing lanthanide ions, and multi-component materials used in pharmaceutical controlled-release formulations that have been doped with paramagnetic species to measure the component domain sizes.



Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Chemical, Quantum Theory

Journal Title

Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


European Commission (317127)
This work was supported by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions Initial Training Networks (ITN)) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ under REA grant agreement no. 317127, the “pNMR” project. AJP received funding from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) (2016-03441).