Because glasses lack long-range translational order, standard diffraction techniques are limited for structural studies. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is an isotope-specific method which provides valuable information about short-range structure. Many NMR techniques have been developed to obtain high-resolution spectral data in glasses, from which useful structural parameters can be obtained.
Borate and borosilicate glasses are the primary targets of our glass research, largely because of their importance in a variety of applications ranging from everyday cookware to nuclear waste disposal. Structural information obtained by NMR is correlated with the properties of relevance for particular applications to develop relations which can improve materials properties.
Since the discovery of Prussian Blue in 1704, metal cyanides have attracted attention for their many interesting properties and vast diversity. Much of the recent interest in these materials is related to their framework structures and catalytic potential. However, structures can be difficult to determine using x-ray crystallography, especially when dynamics are present. We use NMR to gain insight into structure and dynamics in a wide variety of transition-metal cyanides
Many of the materials of interest contain stoichiometric amounts of paramagnetic ions, which presents a challenge to NMR studies. Our recent work investigates the feasibilty of NMR for the structural characterization of paramagnetic solids.