The Use of Co-crystals for the Determination of Absolute Stereochemistry: An Alternative to Salt Formation

Absolute stereochemistry of oils and viscous liquids can be difficult to determine. Co-crystallization involves generating a crystalline material consisting of more than one neutral compound. The combination of co-crystallization with both X-ray diffraction and chiral HPLC was particularly powerful in overcoming these difficulties for a series of chiral 3-arylbutanoic acids. Co-crystallization offers advantages over salt formation because co-crystals dissociate in solution, meaning identical HPLC conditions can be used for both the materials of interest and their co-crystals.