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Room-temperature in situ nuclear spin hyperpolarization from optically pumped nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond


Low detection sensitivity stemming from the weak polarization of nuclear spins is a primary limitation of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. Methods have been developed to enhance nuclear spin polarization but they typically require high magnetic fields, cryogenic temperatures or sample transfer between magnets. Here we report bulk, room-temperature hyperpolarization of (13)C nuclear spins observed via high-field magnetic resonance. The technique harnesses the high optically induced spin polarization of diamond nitrogen vacancy centres at room temperature in combination with dynamic nuclear polarization. We observe bulk nuclear spin polarization of 6%, an enhancement of ∼170,000 over thermal equilibrium. The signal of the hyperpolarized spins was detected in situ with a standard nuclear magnetic resonance probe without the need for sample shuttling or precise crystal orientation. Hyperpolarization via optical pumping/dynamic nuclear polarization should function at arbitrary magnetic fields enabling orders of magnitude sensitivity enhancement for nuclear magnetic resonance of solids and liquids under ambient conditions.

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