• Developing a numerical inverse-theory-based extraction of orientation-dependent relaxation rates from partially- relaxed spectra

      Ghamari, Mohammad Sedigh; Department of Physics (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Second-rank tensor interactions, such as quadrupolar interactions between the spin- 1 deuterium nuclei and the electric field gradients created by chemical bonds, are affected by rapid random molecular motions that modulate the orientation of the molecule with respect to the external magnetic field. In biological and model membrane systems, where a distribution of dynamically averaged anisotropies (quadrupolar splittings, chemical shift anisotropies, etc.) is present and where, in addition, various parts of the sample may undergo a partial magnetic alignment, the numerical analysis of the resulting Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra is a mathematically ill-posed problem. However, numerical methods (de-Pakeing, Tikhonov regularization) exist that allow for a simultaneous determination of both the anisotropy and orientational distributions. An additional complication arises when relaxation is taken into account. This work presents a method of obtaining the orientation dependence of the relaxation rates that can be used for the analysis of the molecular motions on a broad range of time scales. An arbitrary set of exponential decay rates is described by a three-term truncated Legendre polynomial expansion in the orientation dependence, as appropriate for a second-rank tensor interaction, and a linear approximation to the individual decay rates is made. Thus a severe numerical instability caused by the presence of noise in the experimental data is avoided. At the same time, enough flexibility in the inversion algorithm is retained to achieve a meaningful mapping from raw experimental data to a set of intermediate, model-free