Microwave spectrum, structure, tautomeric, and conformational composition of 4-vinylimidazole

Peter Douglas Godfrey, Evan G Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The microwave spectra of the two conformers each, of the 1H and 3H tautomers of 4-vinylimidazole, have been measured in the 48-72 GHz spectral region. The 4-vinylimidazole was generated in situ by the facile decarboxylation of urocanic acid at its vaporization temperature of 220 degrees C. The recognition of this reaction casts doubt on the reliability of a previous published spectroscopic study apparently mistakenly thought to be of uncontaminated vaporized urocanic acid, a natural product of great interest in skin cancer etiology. Quantum chemical theoretical predictions of the structures of each of ten possible conformers/tautomers of urocanic acid and four of 4-vinylimidazole were performed at the ab initio MP2/cc-pVTZ level, with vibrational predictions at the B3LYP/ccpVTZ and M062X/cc-pVTZ levels. The predicted values of rotational constants for all the urocanic acid species were found to be quite inconsistent with those of the four observed spectra. For the 4-vinylimidazole isomers, the calculated relative energies suggested that all four species would have substantial equilibrium mole fractions at 220 degrees C.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this