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Structural study of the inclusion compounds of thymol, carvacrol and eugenol in β-cyclodextrin by X-ray crystallography


The crystal structures of the inclusion compounds of thymol, carvacrol and eugenol, (components of essential oils of vegetable origin) in β-cyclodextrin have been determined. Thymol/β-CD crystallizes in the space group P1 containing two host molecules in its asymmetric unit whereas both carvacrol/β-CD and eugenol/β-CD complexes crystallize in the space group C2. In all three complexes two host molecules form head-to-head dimers their guest/host stoichiometry being: 1/2 (carvacrol/β-CD), 2/2 (thymol/β-CD) and 3/2 (eugenol/β-CD). In the cases of the thymol/β-CD and the carvacrol/β-CD complexes the β-CD dimers are arranged according to the channel packing mode. The accommodation of the geometrical isomer guests is performed solely by their hydrophobic groups revealing the leading role of the hydrophobic driving forces in the complexation process whereas the position of their hydroxyl group affects the stoichiometry of the formed dimeric complexes. In the case of the eugenol/β-CD dimeric complex one guest molecule is found lying between the β-CD groups in a sandwich fashion whereas the other two symmetry related guests protrude outwards the narrower rim of the hosts with only their hydrophobic allyl-chain located inside the hosts’ cavities. This arrangement prohibits the formation of a channel and the observed crystal packing is that of a Tetrad mode.

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We thank the European Community, Research Infrastructure Action under the FP6 “Structuring the European Research Area Specific Programme”, Contract Number RII3-CT-2004-506008 for support of the work of data collection at the EMBL X11 beamline at the DORIS storage ring, DESY, Hamburg (Project no.: PX-07-91).

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Correspondence to Kostas Bethanis.

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Bethanis, K., Tzamalis, P., Tsorteki, F. et al. Structural study of the inclusion compounds of thymol, carvacrol and eugenol in β-cyclodextrin by X-ray crystallography. J Incl Phenom Macrocycl Chem 77, 163–173 (2013).

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  • Thymol
  • Carvacrol
  • Eugenol
  • β-Cyclodextrin
  • Inclusion complexes
  • X-ray crystallography