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A Study on the Photochemical Dimerization of Coumarins in the Solid State

Gnanaguru, K and Ramasubbu, N and Venkatesan, K and Ramamurthy, V (1985) A Study on the Photochemical Dimerization of Coumarins in the Solid State. In: Journal of Organic Chemistry, 50 (13). pp. 2337-2346.

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Solid-state photochemical behavior of 28 substituted coumarins has been investigated. Of these twelve underwent photodimerization and this is remarkable in light of the inertness of coumarin itself in the solid state. X-ray crystallographic investigation of eight coumarins was undertaken with the view of understanding the role of packing in the crystal on their solid-state reactivity. Important findings include the identification of acetoxy and chloro substituents as useful “crystal engineering” groups and the results pertaining to subtler aspects of topochemical postulates. X-ray crystal structure analyses of 7-chlorocoumarin and 7-methoxycoumarin reveal packing modes which are not commonly met. The former is arranged in a \beta type packing, the center-center distance between the reactive double bonds being 4.454 \AA, which lies beyond the so far accepted limit of 3.5-4.2 \AA. The reactive double bonds of 7-methoxycoumarin, on the other hand, are rotated by $65^O$ with respect to each other with the center-center distance between the double bonds being 3.83 \AA. Inspite of these unfavorable arrangements photodimerization of the above two coumarins in the solid state occurs through a topochemical process with large dimer yields. A careful analysis of the X-ray crystallographic resulta obtained from our investigations reveals that the two double bonds in the reactive crystals may be displaced with respect to each other both along the molecular plane as well as along the double bond axis. Thus the normally accepted dictums that in the photoreactive crystals the doube bonds should be within a distance of 4.2 \AA, and that they be parallel are no longer operational.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Organic Chemistry
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Organic Chemistry
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/14944

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