Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy suffers from low sensitivity due to the low nuclear spin polarization obtained within practically achievable external magnetic fields. Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) refers to techniques that increase the NMR signal intensity by transferring spin polarization from electrons to the nuclei. Until now, a common method of introducing unpaired electrons to a sample has been to add to it a radical such as TEMPOL or trityl. The alternative we address here is to use electrochemical oxidation and/or reduction of a redox mediator to generate radical species that can be used for DNP. Surprisingly, the potential of electrochemically-generated radicals as a source of hyperpolarization for DNP has not been investigated so far. In this communication, we show the proof of principle of performing an in situ DNP experiment at a low magnetic field in a solution phase, with electrochemically generated methyl viologen cation radicals. Electrochemistry as a source of radicals can offer exciting prospects for DNP. The electrode may be one that generates radicals with a high spin polarization. The concentration of radicals in the sample can be adjusted by changing the duration and magnitude of the applied electrode potential. Removal of the radical from the sample after spin polarization transfer is also possible, thereby increasing the lifetime of the nuclear hyperpolarization.
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