Elucidation of Diverse Solid-State Packing in a Family of Electron-Deficient Expanded Helicenes via Microcrystal Electron Diffraction (MicroED)*.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, Volume 60, Issue 5, p.2493-2499 (2021)


<p>Solid-state packing plays a defining role in the properties of a molecular organic material, but it is difficult to elucidate in the absence of single crystals that are suitable for X-ray diffraction. Herein, we demonstrate the coupling of divergent synthesis with microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) for rapid assessment of solid-state packing motifs, using a class of chiral nanocarbons-expanded helicenes-as a proof of concept. Two highly selective oxidative dearomatizations of a readily accessible helicene provided a divergent route to four electron-deficient analogues containing quinone or quinoxaline units. Crystallization efforts consistently yielded microcrystals that were unsuitable for single-crystal X-ray diffraction, but ideal for MicroED. This technique facilitated the elucidation of solid-state structures of all five compounds with &lt;1.1 Å resolution. The otherwise-inaccessible data revealed a range of notable packing behaviors, including four different space groups, homochirality in a crystal for a helicene with an extremely low enantiomerization barrier, and nanometer scale cavities.</p>