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Influence of Bond Fixation in Benzo-Annulated N-Salicylideneanilines and Their ortho-C(O)X Derivatives (X = CH3, NH2, OCH3) on Tautomeric Equilibria in Solution

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journal contribution
posted on 20.07.2007, 00:00 by Ryszard Gawinecki, Agnieszka Kuczek, Erkki Kolehmainen, Borys Ośmiałowski, Tadeusz M. Krygowski, Reijo Kauppinen
1H, 13C, and 15N NMR spectra show that an ortho-C(O)X group present in the molecules of N-salicylideneanthranilamide (X = NH2), methyl N-salicylideneanthranilate (X = OCH3), N-salicylidene-o-aminoacetophenone (X = CH3), and their benzo analogues have only a minor effect on the tautomeric OH/NH-equilibrium in solution. Only two of three possible tautomers were detected. Lability of the absent form was proved by theoretical calculations. Calculated energies show that the enolimino form (OH) is less stable than the enaminone (NH) form only for dibenzo-annulated N-salicylideneanilines. The population of each species in the tautomeric mixture was found to be inversely proportional to its energy. Application of the geometry-based aromaticity index HOMA shows that the effectiveness of the π-electron delocalization in different rings in the molecule depends mostly on the position of benzo-annulation. Both the NH···O and N···HO hydrogen bonds present in the NH and OH tautomers, respectively, increase the aromaticity of the quasirings H−O−CC−CN and OC−CC−N−H and decrease the aromatic character of the fused benzene ring. These results seem to be reliable when N-salicylideneanilines studied are compared with naphthalene and their benzo-annulated derivatives, i.e., phenanthrene, anthracene, and triphenylene. An analysis of the effectiveness of π-electron delocalization confirms that in all cases studied, the OH form is more stable. Although the HOMA values and calculated energies are not a criterion that allows determination of the dominating tautomer, both of these parameters correctly show the effect of changes in the molecular topology on tautomeric preferences.