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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a unique tool for providing structural and dynamics information at an atomic level, and thus it is one of the most important methods for the characterization of polymers and biomacromolecules. In particular, with the rapid achievement of NMR methodologies as well as instruments, many challenging issues in polymer science can be addressed or revisited using the cutting-edge NMR methods. On the other hand, emerging chemistry in polymer science also requires the development of corresponding NMR methods to monitor chemical and physical processes, and thus to reveal the structure–function–property relationships of polymer materials. Over the past few decades, a variety of NMR techniques have been developed and gained huge popularity, such as high-resolution NMR (HRMAS) for semi-solids or liquids, low-field proton double-quantum (DQ) NMR, field-cycling NMR relaxometry, high-field dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), proton-detected ultrafast magic-angle-spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR, etc. Particularly, the development of ultra-high magnetic field has boosted NMR signal sensitivity and spectral resolution significantly, rendering it an indispensable tool for characterization of disordered/amorphous polymer or biopolymer (such as protein, chitin, and cellulose) structures in solution and solids, which may not be amenable for high-resolution investigation using standardized electron microscopy or X-ray crystallography. These significant advances in NMR methodologies and instruments have provided NMR users with many valuable tools for addressing the unresolved issues in polymer and biomacromolecular science. Thanks to the tremendous contribution of the leading NMR experts around the world in polymer and biomacromolecular science, this book covers a broad, exciting range of topics about the new techniques as mentioned above and applications of advanced NMR spectroscopy in characterizing complex multiphase polymer materials in terms of chain packing, crystallization, chain compatibility, segmental dynamics, cross-linking network, entanglements, molecular interactions, diffusion, relaxation, and so on.

Without doubt, NMR spectroscopy has been well positioned to elucidate the delicate interplay of structures and dynamics in polymer and biomacromolecular systems, not to mention the never-ending development of NMR methods and the pursuit of ultra-high magnetic field above 1 GHz. It is also well expected that NMR spectroscopy will play an important and indispensable role in offering piercing insights into the structures and dynamics of a variety of polymer materials, considering the remarkable progress of this technique in the past decades and the notable revival of the DNP technique for boosting NMR signal sensitivity by over 100-fold in recent decades. Therefore, the book is aimed at providing a comprehensive account of NMR method development as well as the applications in polymers and biomacromolecules. A total of 22 chapters are included, and we hope that this book can capture the emerging excitement at the forefront of polymer and NMR research and can be an excellent reference book for polymer and NMR scientists as well as graduate students engaging in using NMR for the study of polymer and biomacromolecular systems.

Finally, we must thank all the authors for their tremendous efforts in writing about their respective areas of expertise, and their cooperation and patience while the chapters were being reviewed and revised. We are also grateful to Prof. Hans Wolfgang Spiess for his support and writing the foreword of this book. We also thank Prof. Maili Liu for inviting us to edit this book as part of the New Developments in NMR series as well as our correspondents at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Katie Morrey and Janet Freshwater, for their kind assistance.

Rongchun Zhang

South China University of Technology, China

Toshikazu Miyoshi

The University of Akron, USA

Pingchuan Sun

Nankai University, China

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