Electronic structure and intramolecular interactions in three methoxyphenol isomers Academic Article uri icon


  • Electronic structures and intramolecular interactions of three methoxyphenol positional isomers and their rotamers have been studied using core X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and quantum mechanical calculations. The structural calculations are benchmarked against published calculations of enthalpy of formation and rotational constants, and published experimental data. The good agreement obtained confirms the accuracy of the results. A single rotamer of each isomer was then selected and the C 1s photoelectron spectra calculated and compared with experiment. Good agreement is obtained, and the calculations were extended to investigate the effects of conformation. For 3-methoxyphenol, the difference in the C 1s binding energy of the conformers is small, <0.15 eV. For 2-methoxyphenol, whose ground state includes an OH⋯OCH3 hydrogen bond, the higher energy rotamers show the largest shifts for the methyl carbon atom, whereas the ring carbon bonded to OH hardly shifts The theoretical differences in core level energies of the two rotamers of 4-MP are still smaller, <0.05 eV. By comparing calculations neglecting or including final state relaxation upon ionization, the relaxation energy of the phenyl carbons in all isomers is found to be ∼0.5 eV, while that of the methyl groups is ∼1.3 eV.


  • Islam, Shawkat
  • Ganesan, Aravindhan
  • Auchettl, Rebecca
  • Plekan, Oksana
  • Acres, Robert G
  • Wang, Feng
  • Prince, Kevin C

publication date

  • 2018