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Understanding the microcrystal tests of three related phenethylamines: the ortho‐metallated (±)‐amphetamine formed with gold(III) chloride, and the tetrachloridoaurate(III) salts of (+)‐methamphetamine and (±)‐ephedrine

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The ortho‐metallation product of the reaction of (±)‐amphetamine with gold(III) chloride, [D,L‐2‐(2‐aminopropyl)phenyl‐κ2 N,C 1]dichloridogold(III), [Au(C9H12N)Cl2], and the two salts resulting from crystallization of (+)‐methamphetamine with gold(III) chloride, D‐methyl(1‐phenylpropan‐2‐yl)azanium tetrachloridoaurate(III), (C10H16N)[AuCl4], and of (±)‐ephedrine with gold(III) chloride, D,L‐(1‐hydroxy‐1‐phenylpropan‐2‐yl)(methyl)azanium tetrachloridoaurate(III), (C10H16NO)[AuCl4], have different structures. The first makes a bidentate complex directly with a dichloridogold(III) group, forming a six‐membered ring structure; the second and third each form a salt with [AuCl4] (each has two formula units in the asymmetric unit). The organic components are all members of the same class of stimulants that are prevalent in illicit drug use. These structures are important contributions to the understanding of the microcrystal tests for these drugs that have been employed for well over 100 years.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Carl A. Olson Memorial Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, USA

Publication date: April 15, 2013

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