Second-order NMR spectra at high field of common organic functional groups

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The proton NMR spectra of aryl n-propyl sulfides gave rise to what may appear to be first-order proton NMR spectra. Upon oxidation to the corresponding sulfone, the spectra changed appearance dramatically and were clearly second-order. A detailed analysis of these second-order spectra, in the sulfone series, provided vicinal coupling constants which indicated that these compounds had a moderate preference for the anti-conformer, reflecting the much greater size of the sulfone over the sulfide. It also emerged, from this study, that the criterion for observing large second-order effects in the proton NMR spectra of 1,2-disubstituted ethanes was that the difference in vicinal coupling constants must be large and the difference in geminal coupling constants must be small. n-Propyl triphenylphosphonium bromide and 2-trimethylsilylethanesulfonyl chloride, and derivatives thereof, also exhibited second-order spectra, again due to the bulky substituents. Since these spectra are second-order due to magnetic nonequivalence of the nuclei in question, not chemical shifts, the proton spectra are perpetually second-order and can never be rendered first-order by using higher field NMR spectrometers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2078-2084
Number of pages7
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 07 Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

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