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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Mar 31;132(12):4042-3. doi: 10.1021/ja910282p.

A magnetic switch for spin-catalyzed interconversion of nuclear spin isomers.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


The interconversion of ortho-hydrogen (oH(2)) and para-hydrogen (pH(2)), the two nuclear spin isomers of dihydrogen, requires a paramagnetic spin catalyst such as a nitroxide. We report the design and demonstration of spin catalysis of the interconversion of oH(2) and pH(2) incarcerated in an endofullerene based on a reversible nitroxide/hydroxylamine system. The system is an example of a reversible magnetic spin catalysis switch that can increase the rate of interconversion of the nuclear spin isomers of H(2) by a factor of approximately 10(4).

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