Tailored real-time scaling of heteronuclear couplings

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Heteronuclear couplings are a valuable source of molecular information, which is measured from the multiplet splittings of an NMR spectrum. Radiofrequency irradiation on one coupled nuclear spin allows to modify the effective coupling constant, scaling down the multiplet splittings in the spectrum observed at the resonance frequency of the other nuclear spin. Such decoupling sequences are often used to collapse a multiplet into a singlet and can therefore simplify NMR spectra significantly. Continuous-wave (cw) decoupling has an intrinsic non-linear offset dependence of the scaling of the effective J-coupling constant. Using optimal control pulse optimization, we show that virtually arbitrary off-resonance scaling of the J-coupling constant can be achieved. The new class of tailored decoupling pulses is named SHOT (Scaling of Heteronuclear couplings by Optimal Tracking). Complementing cw irradiation, SHOT pulses offer an alternative approach of encoding chemical shift information indirectly through off-resonance decoupling, which however makes it possible for the first time to achieve linear J scaling as a function of offset frequency. For a simple mixture of eight aromatic compounds, it is demonstrated experimentally that a 1D-SHOT { 1H}- 13C experiment yields comparable information to a 2D-HSQC and can give full assignment of all coupled spins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Composite pulse decoupling
  • GRAPE algorithm
  • Heteronuclear decoupling
  • Optimal control theory
  • Pseudo-multidimensional NMR
  • Scaling of J-couplings


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