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Conformational Equilibrium and Hydrogen Bonding in Liquid 2-Phenylethylamine Explored by Raman Spectroscopy and Theoretical Calculations

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2011 by Min Xie, Yajing Qi, Yongjun Hu
2-Phenylethylamine (PEA) is the simplest aromatic amine neurotransmitter, as well as one of the most important. In this work, the conformational equilibrium and hydrogen bonding in liquid PEA were studied by means of Raman spectroscopy and theoretical calculations (DFT/MP2). By changing the orientation of the ethyl and the NH2 group, nine possible conformers of PEA were found, including four degenerate conformers. Comparison of the experimental Raman spectra of liquid PEA and the calculated Raman spectra of the five typical conformers in selected regions (550−800 and 1250−1500 cm−1) revealed that the five conformers can coexist in conformational equilibrium in the liquid. The NH2 stretching mode of the liquid is red-shifted by ca. 30 cm−1 relative to that of an isolated PEA molecule (measured previously), implying that intermolecular N−H···N hydrogen bonds play an important role in liquid PEA. The relative intensity of the Raman band at 762 cm−1 was found to increase with increasing temperature, indicating that the anti conformer might be favorable in liquid PEA at room temperature. The blue shift of the band for the bonded N−H stretch with increasing temperature also provides evidence of the existence of intermolecular N−H···N hydrogen bonds.