Concomitant Polymorphism In An Organic Solid: Molecular And Crystal Structure And Intra‐ And Intermolecular Potential Contributions To Tert‐Butyl And Methyl Group Rotation

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We investigate the relationship between structure (crystal and molecular) and tert‐butyl and methyl group dynamics in 2‐(tert‐butyl)‐9‐(4‐(tert‐butyl)phenyl)anthracene. Powder and single‐crystal X‐ray diffraction, taken together, show that different polycrystalline samples recrystallized from different solvents have different amounts of at least four polymorphs (crystallites having different crystal structures), of which we have identified three by single crystal X‐ray diffraction. The molecules in the asymmetric units of the different crystal structures differ by the dihedral angle the tert‐butylphenyl group makes with the anthracene moiety. Ab initio electronic structure calculations on the isolated molecule show that very little intramolecular energy is required to change this angle over a range of about 60° which is probably the origin of the concomitant polymorphism (crystals of more than one polymorph in a polycrystalline sample). Solid state 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spin‐lattice relaxation experiments support the powder and single‐crystal X‐ray results and provide average NMR activation energies (closely related to rotational barriers) for the rotation of the tert‐butyl groups and their constituent methyl groups. These barriers have both an intramolecular and an intermolecular component. The latter is sensitive to the crystal structure. The intramolecular components of the rotational barriers of the two tert‐butyl groups in the isolated molecule are investigated with ab initio electronic structure calculations.


concomitant polymorphism, electronic structure calculations, intramolecular rotation, 1H relaxation, X-ray crystallography