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129Xe thermometer

The 129Xe chemical shift of xenon dissolved in isotropic liquids is very sensitive to solvent density, which in turn is dependent on the sample temperature. Therefore, the 129Xe chemical shift can be used as the basis of a thermometer for measuring actual sample temperatures in NMR experiments. Good accuracy can be achieved, but the thermometer is particularly useful in monitoring temperature stability. Below you can see a good example of this sensitivity.

Xe NMR spectra in CDCl3

Single scan 129Xe NMR spectra of xenon gas dissolved in CDCl3 were measured at one minute intervals. During a 30 minute experiment the temperature changed only 0.03 K, but that was still easily observable in the spectrum as a change of 129Xe chemical shift.

The results of this study have been published:

J. Saunavaara and J. Jokisaari:
Determination of sample temperature and temperature stability with 129Xe NMR,
Journal of Magnetic Resonance 180, 58-62 (2006).

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