Lesage et al.1 report an impressive signal enhancement for NMR spectra of organic groups attached to a silica surface using a technique known as dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). a, Without DNP, the authors observed no sharp peaks in the carbon-13 spectrum of the surface groups. b, With DNP, they obtained a 50-fold improvement in the NMR signal. The spectra in a and b are shown at the same scale. Peaks at different chemical shifts correspond to different carbon atoms in the surface groups. Spectral data are from ref. 1; p.p.m. denotes parts per million.