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Structural phase transitions, and Br•••N and Br•••Br interactions in 1-phenyl-2-methyl-4-nitro-5-bromoimidazole

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Crystals of C10H8N3O2Br undergo two reversible phase transitions between 295 and 100 K. The first, of an order–disorder nature, is a second-order transition and takes place continuously over a wide temperature range. This transition is connected with the doubling of the length of the c axis of the unit cell and with the change of the space group from P21/m with Z′ = 1/2 (room-temperature α-phase) to P21/c, Z′ = 1 (-phase, 200–120 K). During this transition the molecule loses the Cs symmetry of the α-phase. The second transition takes place between 118 and 115 K, and is accompanied by a change of the crystal symmetry to the triclinic space group P (low-temperature -phase). This second phase transition is accompanied by the twinning of the crystal. Neither the molecular geometry nor the crystal packing shows any dramatic changes during these phase transitions. Halogen bonds C—Br•••N and dihalogen interactions Br•••Br play a crucial role in determining the crystal packing and compete successfully with other kinds of weak intermolecular interactions.

Keywords: Br…Br interactions; halogen bonding; imidazole derivatives; phase transition

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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