Disodium cromoglycate: exploiting its properties as a NMR weak-aligning medium for small organic molecules
Chromonic phases are a family of lyotropic liquid crystals (LC) formed by ionic aromatic mesogens such as disodium cromoglycate (cromolyn), sunset yellow and others. It is well known that chromonic phases are oriented in the presence of external magnetic fields, leading to the observation of anisotropic NMR observables such as quadrupolar splittings or residual dipolar couplings. Despite the fact that the cromolyn nematic LC phase (N) presents important advantages like great homogeneity, small line broadening, and easy sample preparation, it has been scarcely used as a water-compatible NMR orienting medium, in part due to a too strong induced degree of alignment on the guest molecules. However, the use of cromolyn–brine mixtures led to the optimum degree of alignment allowing to record 1H–13C dipolar couplings with good accuracy.