Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Relaxometry as a Spectroscopic Probe of the Coordination Sphere of a Paramagnetic Metal Bound to a Humic Acid Mixture

Melton, J.R., Kantzas, A. and Langford, C.H.

DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2007.10.017
Anal Chim Acta., 605(1)
December 2007
Pages 46-52


Protons on water molecules are strongly affected by paramagnetic ions. Since the acid-base properties of water facilitate rapid proton exchange, a single proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signal is seen in aqueous solutions of paramagnetic ions. Proton relaxation times are significantly affected by paramagnetic species and the readily detectable single signal serves as a powerful amplifier of the information contained concerning the protons in the paramagnetic environment. Where water molecules coordinated to free paramagnetic ions and to metal complexes of ligands that form non-labile (on the NMR time scale) complexes, the effects on water in the two environments can be distinguished. This can provide information on the nature of the ligand binding sites. The example of Cu2+ bound to the Laurentian humic acid mixture reported here using convenient low field NMR relaxometers shows that the information can enrich our understanding of complexation and speciation in the presence of complex mixture ligands characteristic of natural water systems. In this case, the data underline the role of aggregation and conformation in defining the complexation sites.

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