Measuring molecular parity nonconservation using nuclear-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy

TitleMeasuring molecular parity nonconservation using nuclear-magnetic-resonance spectroscopy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBlanchard JW, Ellis J., Bougas L, Kozlov M.G, Pines A, Budker D
JournalPhysical Review A
Date Published10/2017

The weak interaction does not conserve parity and therefore induces energy shifts in chiral enantiomers that should in principle be detectable in molecular spectra. Unfortunately, the magnitude of the expected shifts are small and in spectra of a mixture of enantiomers, the energy shifts are not resolvable. We propose a nuclear-magnetic-resonance (NMR) experiment in which we titrate the chirality (enantiomeric excess) of a solvent and measure the diasteriomeric splitting in the spectra of a chiral solute in order to search for an anomalous offset due to parity nonconservation (PNC). We present a proof-of-principle experiment in which we search for PNC in the 13C resonances of small molecules, and use the 1H resonances, which are insensitive to PNC, as an internal reference. We set a constraint on molecular PNC in 13C chemical shifts at a level of 105 ppm, and provide a discussion of important considerations in the search for molecular PNC using NMR spectroscopy.