H-1 nuclear spin-lattice relaxation and Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) have been studied in amorphous samples of trehalose sugar doped with TEMPO radicals by means of mechanical milling, in the 1.6-4.2 K temperature range. The radical concentration was varied between 0.34 and 0.81%. The highest polarization of 15% at 1.6 K, observed in the sample with concentration 0.50%, is of the same order of magnitude of that reported in standard frozen solutions with TEMPO. The temperature and concentration dependence of the spin-lattice relaxation rate 1/T-1, dominated by the coupling with the electron spins, were found to follow power laws with an exponent close to 3 in all samples. The observed proportionality between 1/T-1 and the polarization rate 1/T-pol, with a coefficient related to the electron polarization, is consistent with the presence of Thermal Mixing (TM) and a good contact between the nuclear and the electron spins. At high electron concentration additional relaxation channels causing a decrease in the nuclear polarization must be considered. These results provide further support for a more extensive use of amorphous DNP-ready samples, obtained by means of comilling, in dissolution DNP experiments and possibly for in vivo metabolic imaging.
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