Nuclear spin-lattice relaxation in nanocarbon compounds caused by adsorbed oxygen

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13 Scopus citations


Nuclear spin-lattice relaxation measurement is an effective tool for studying electronic structure and magnetic properties of nanosized compounds. The present work deals with the effect of oxygen molecules, adsorbed onto the surface of carbon nanoparticles - in which the number of surface atoms is comparable with that in the sample's volume - on nuclear spin-lattice relaxation rate of the carbon nuclei. We measured 13C spin-lattice relaxation in as-prepared (air rich) and out-gassed samples of detonation nanodiamond (DND), activated carbon fibers (ACF) and glassy carbon (GC) samples having multishell onion-like structure. Our measurements showed that the paramagnetic oxygen molecules (the only magnetic agent in ambient air), being physisorbed onto the surface and in structural voids of ACF and GC, create an additional relaxation channel and definitely affect the 13C spin-lattice relaxation as do the unpaired electrons of the internal dangling bonds. Air removal results in 1.5-2 times elongation in T1. In contrast, the relaxation time is nearly the same for as-prepared and out-gassed DND samples. The reason is that in DND oxygen molecules have access only to the surface carbon nuclei whereas the rest of carbons remain unaffected by oxygen. Thus the main relaxation agents in DND particles are dangling bonds with unpaired electron spins, which mask the relaxation effect of paramagnetic oxygen. These findings are in a good agreement with our EPR data, which show that oxygen affects the inherent paramagnetic defects in the aforementioned nanocarbons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-204
Number of pages4
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Carbon nanoparticles
  • Glassy carbon
  • Nanodiamond
  • Nanographite
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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