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Research Fellows Directory

Marina Carravetta

Dr Marina Carravetta

Research Fellow


University of Southampton

Research summary

My research is in the field of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), with attention to magic-angle spinning (MAS). MAS improves resolution and signal intensity by means of rotating the sample at high speeds (many kHz) with a tilt angle of 54.74 degrees with respect to the main magnetic field. NMR can be very informative even when dealing with powders and amorphous materials. Long range order is not a requirement.

My research targets in this field are materials where potential applications are more than plausible.

My group has pioneered the work on cryogenic MAS on superconductors. Superconductors are materials which have no resistance to DC currents below their critical temperature. Hence, when single cristals are unavailable, to get valuable high resolution data by NMR, it is essentail to spin the sample at low temperature (often well below -150C). We have now published a proof-of-concept study in this field and we are expanding to new research targets, with particular attention to new superconducting materials and to materials where applications already exist.

Much of the solid state NMR with involves high resolution studies of nitrogen involves exchanging the naturally abundant nitrogen-14 (14N) isotope with the rare (and expensive) nitrogen-15 (15N) isotope. 15N is spin 1/2 hence it is much easier to and has much narrower lines. 14N on the other hand has spin 1 and it possesses a quadrupole moment which leads to line broadening and many other technical issues. In the last few years indirect detection of 14N has been revived and we are contributing to this field by developing new methods for more efficient detection of this isotope. Among the applications there are natural biomolecules as well as natural products, where spin labelling is not straighforward.

Recent work involves collaborations with groups studying materials of direct impact to society, including catalysts (Beckmann rearrangement, step in nylon production) and resins for coating boats

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Cryogenic NMR on static and rotating superconductors

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: May 2013 - Jun 2016

Value: £282,157.88

Cryogenic molecular dynamics and magic-angle spinning NMR

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2007 - Apr 2013

Value: £471,048.65