Unleashing the shape of l-DOPA at last†
Herein, we report the first rotational study of neutral L-DOPA, an extensively used supramolecular synthon and an amino acid precursor of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline) using broadband and narrowband Fourier transform microwave spectroscopies coupled with a laser ablation vaporization system. The spectroscopic parameters derived from the analysis of the rotational spectrum conclusively identify the existence of four distinct conformers of L-DOPA in the supersonic jet, further rejecting the previously reported catechol ring-induced conformational restriction. The analysis of the 14N nuclear quadrupole coupling hyperfine structure further revealed the orientation of the N-bearing functional group, proving the existence of stabilizing N–H⋯π interactions for the observed structures.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 PCCP HOT Articles