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Issue 3, 2008
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Determining accurate molecular sizes in solution through NMR diffusion spectroscopy

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Abstract

This tutorial review deals with the methodological procedures that can be used to obtain accurate molecular sizes in solution from diffusion NMR spectroscopy. The critical aspects associated with the estimation of the size of molecules from the measured translational self-diffusion coefficient, using the Stokes–Einstein equation, are highlighted and discussed. From a theoretical point of view, it is shown how to take into account the size of the solute with respect to that of the solvent and its non-spherical shape using the appropriate correction factors in the frictional coefficient. From a practical point of view, the advantages of introducing an internal standard in the sample are presented. Initially, non-aggregating systems are considered in an attempt to clarify what hydrodynamic dimensions mean. Successively, aggregating systems are addressed showing how it is possible to understand the aggregation level and derive the thermodynamic parameters for some illustrative aggregation processes.

Graphical abstract: Determining accurate molecular sizes in solution through NMR diffusion spectroscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Sep 2007 and first published on 11 Oct 2007


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/B615067P
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008,37, 479-489

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    Determining accurate molecular sizes in solution through NMR diffusion spectroscopy

    A. Macchioni, G. Ciancaleoni, C. Zuccaccia and D. Zuccaccia, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2008, 37, 479
    DOI: 10.1039/B615067P

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