NMRCORE: an NMR/X-RAY Platform for Convergence Research with focus on energy, molecular water research, food and health science
In 2016, a new solid-state NMR centre was founded at KU Leuven Chem&Tech. The NMR dedicated facility implements a series of optimizations to create an ultra-stable environment, optimal for high-resolution NMR spectroscopy. At present this initiative has evolved into an NMR/X-ray platform operating as convergent research node with focus on energy, molecular water research, food and health research. The centre now houses 6 spectrometers with fields ranging from 300 MHz to 800MHz, highlights being 500 Mhz and 800 MHz spectrometers, each with unique capabilities for multi-irradiation. The 800 MHz spectrometer was acquired in a consortium with Bruker, to develop sensitivity-enhanced high resolution NMR for different application areas. The NMR centre @Leuven Chem&Tech provides research spectrometer time to both internal and external users (from industry and academia, national and international) using a proposal-based allocation system similar to those operated at synchrotron beaml!
Recently, a strategic alliance was initiated with the new Center for Molecular Water Science (CMWS) currently being launched at the DESY light-source campus in Hamburg; By coupling existing and operational large scale instruments (@DESY: Petra III, FLASH, XFEL and @KU Leuven: NMR) in a multidisciplinary, convergent approach the center aims to solve major long-standing issues in water research.
Specific spear points of the NMR centres research are solid-state parallel acquisition, sensitivity enhancement by hyperpolarization via magnetization transfer from para hydrogen, investigation of porous materials and their interaction with guest molecules, molecular water research and high-field high-resolution NMR for food and health science.
Recent highlights include the absolute quantification of water in microporous materials, investigations of competitive adsorption in microporous materials, the development of polarisation enhanced 13C-DOSY for investigation of biomolecules such as water soluble arabinoxylans, parahydrogen based hyperpolarisation of water, discriminative analysis of aluminas using 3D correlation of the 27Al chemical shift and its quadrupolar parameters.
 Houlleberghs, M. et al. Absolute Quantification of Water in Microporous Solids with 1H Magic Angle Spinning NMR and Standard Addition. Anal. Chem. 89, 69406943 (2017).
 Radhakrishnan, S. et al. In Situ Solid-State 13C NMR Observation of Pore Mouth Catalysis in Etherification of β-Citronellene with Ethanol on Zeolite Beta. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 28022808 (2016).
 Kubarev, A. V et al. Solvent Polarity-Induced Pore Selectivity in H-ZSM-5 Catalysis. ACS Catal. 7, 42484252 (2017).
 Van Vaneeckhaute, E. et al. Polarisation enhanced 13C-DOSY and Relaxation Ordered Spectroscopy, a NMR toolbox for characterisation of biomolecules. In preparation.
 Breynaert, E. et al., Reversible hyperpolarisation of water with parahydrogen. In preparation.  C. Vinod Chandran et al. Alumina: discriminative analysis using 3D correlation of solid-state NMR parameters. Chem. Soc. Rev., In publication, DOI: 10.1039/c8cs00321a (2018)