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Communication: Synperiplanar to antiperiplanar conformation changes as underlying the mechanism of Debye process in supercooled ibuprofen
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In this Communication, we present experimental studies that put new insight into the puzzling nature of the Debye relaxation found in the supercooled liquid state of racemic ibuprofen. The appearance of D-relaxation in the loss spectra of non-hydrogen bonding methylated derivate of ibuprofen has proven that Debye relaxation is related solely with conformational changes of the carboxyl group, termed in this paper as synperiplanar-antiperiplanar. Our studies indicate that the presence of hydrogen bonding capabilities is not here the necessary condition to observe Debye process, however, their occurrence might strongly influence α- and D-relaxations dynamics. Interestingly, the activation energy of the D-process in ibuprofen methyl ester on approaching Tg was found to be perfectly consistent with that reported for ibuprofen by Affouard and Correia [J. Phys. Chem. B114, 11397–11402 (Year: 2010)] (∼39 kJ/mol). Finally, IR measurements suggest that the equilibrium between conformers concentration depends on time and temperature, which might explain why the appearance of D-relaxation in supercooled ibuprofen depends on thermal history of the sample.
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