The appearance of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra is determined by various interactions of the nuclear spins with each other, as well as with quantities such as the local and applied magnetic fields, the electric field gradient, and the coupling to the surroundings or the lattice. These interactions not only determine the particular resonance frequencies, but also lineshapes and relaxation times. In solids, the description of the spin interactions is far more complicated than in liquids, because molecular motion is slow on the NMR timescale. As a consequence, many interactions affect the frequency and intensity of the resonance, which are ineffective under fast motion as in liquids. For NMR imaging in materials science, these interactions are important, because most materials are solids and their characterisation and image contrast can be explained. This chapter reviews the basic nuclear spin interactions and some elementary techniques of solid-state NMR spectroscopy relevant to imaging. Anisotropic nuclear spin interactions are discussed, along with wideline NMR, echoes, and relaxation.
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