Solid State NMR Spectroscopy as a Precise Tool for Assigning the Tautomeric Form and Proton Position in the Intramolecular Bridges of o-Hydroxy Schiff Bases

Two analogous Schiff bases, (S,E)-2-((1-hydroxy-3-methyl-1,1-diphenylbutan-2-ylimino)methyl)phenol (1) and (S,Z)-2-hydroxy-6-((1-hydroxy-3-methyl-1,1-diphenylbutan-2-ylamino)methylene)cyclohexa-2,4-dienone (2), exist in the solid state as phenol-imine and keto-amine tautomers, respectively. Their crystal structures were solved using the X-ray diffraction method. Sample 1 forms orthorhombic crystals of space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), while 2 forms monoclinic crystals of space group P2(1). In each sample, one molecule is in the asymmetric unit of the crystal structure. One-dimensional and two-dimensional solid state NMR techniques were used for structure assignment and for inspection of the 13C and 15N δii of the chemical shift tensor (CST) values. NMR study indicates that the span (Ω = δ11 − δ33) and the skew (κ = 3(δ22 − δiso/Ω) are extremely sensitive to change in the tautomeric form of the Schiff bases. Theoretical calculations of NMR shielding parameters for 1 and 2 and a model compound with reduced aliphatic residue were performed using the GIAO method with B3LYP functional and 6-311++g(d,p) basis sets. From comparative analysis of the experimental and theoretical parameters, it was concluded that the position of hydrogen in the intramolecular bridge has tremendous influence on 13C and 15N CST parameters. Inspection of Ω and κ parameters allowed for the establishment of the nature of the hydrogen bonding and the assignment of the equilibrium proton position in the intramolecular bridges in the solid state.