J. Am. Chem. Soc., 123, 7898-7906 (2001).

DOI: 10.1021/ja002688l

A Solid-State NMR, X-ray Diffraction, and ab Initio Computational Study of Hydrogen-Bond Structure and Dynamics of Pyrazole-4-Carboxylic Acid Chains

Using high-resolution solid-state 15N CMAS NMR, X-ray crystallography, and ab initio calculations, we have studied the structure of solid pyrazole-4-carboxylic acid (1). The crystal structure was determined at 295 and 150 K. Molecules of 1 are located on a two-fold axis, implying proton disorder of the NH and OH groups; no phase transition was observed between these two temperatures. The compound forms quasi-linear ribbons in which the molecules are linked by cyclic hydrogen bonds between pyrazole and carboxylic acid groups with disordered hydrogen-bonded protons. Crystallography is unable to decide whether the disorder is dynamic or static. NMR shows that this disorder is dynamic, that is, consisting of very fast degenerate double proton transfers between two rapidly interconverting O−H···N and O···H−N hydrogen bridges. However, at low temperature, NMR shows a proton disorder−order transition where the protons are preferentially localized on given nitrogen and oxygen atoms. An amorphous phase exhibiting proton order is observed when the compound is precipitated rapidly. In this case, the defects are annealed by moderate heating. Ab initio calculations performed on oligomers of 1 show that the O−H···N hydrogen bridge is about 0.064 Å shorter and less bent (171°) than the O···H−N hydrogen bridge (150°). For an isolated ribbon, this result leads to structures with localized protons, either to a cycle with about 200 molecules, or to a quasi-linear ribbon involving an undulated structure, or to a combination of both motifs. Only the undulated structure is compatible with the linear ribbon observed by X-ray crystallography, where the fast proton transfer in the high-temperature phase is assisted by the motions of the undulated chain. A disordered structure is assigned to the amorphous phase, which exhibits the combination of the curved and the undulated motifs.