Research Research projects A new spin on hydrogen: supercharging NMR Hydrogen is well recognized for its potential as a future energy source – but few people are aware of another remarkable ability of the simple H2 molecule. The challenge is this: how can we incorporate para-hydrogen into molecules? school Student intakeThis project is open for Honours, Master, PhD and Summer scholar students. group Group Groups Norcott Group label Research theme Research themes Analytical Chemistry and Sensors Catalysis Organic chemistry traffic Project status Project status Potential Contact contact_support Contact Contact name Phil Norcott Contact position Group Leader Contact email Philip.Norcott@anu.edu.au Content navigation toc About Hydrogen is well recognised for its potential as a future energy source – but few people are aware of another remarkable ability of the simple H2 molecule. In our lab we are able to generate a special nuclear isomer of hydrogen gas called “para-hydrogen,” which has the ability to boost the sensitivity in NMR experiments through a process called “hyperpolarisation.” This means an NMR spectrum that might normally take hours to acquire - we can obtain in mere seconds! The challenge is this: how can we incorporate para-hydrogen into molecules? Your project can focus on any of the following solutions: - Transition metal complexes: Certain catalysts based on iridium and ruthenium undergo oxidative addition to hydrogen, resulting in hyperpolarized metal hydrides that can be used in various ways. You will have the opportunity to synthesise and explore a new class of ligands and test how their complexes activate para-hydrogen. - Organocatalysts: Some organic compounds can react with hydrogen without the use of metals. Only a few of these have ever been used in hyperpolarisation, so you will aim to develop the synthesis of new organic molecules that are capable of reacting with para-hydrogen directly and test their hyperpolarisation activity. - Heterogeneous catalysts: We recently discovered that simple metal surfaces can hyperpolarise molecules - without even needing to be hydrogenated! You will aid in developing new reactions and even new chemical reactors to allow the continuous hyperpolarisation of a range of unexplored molecules.