Derivatization, complexation, and absolute configurational assignment of chiral primary amines: Application of exciton-coupled circular dichroism

Jing Zhang, Andrea E. Holmes, Akanksha Sharma, Neil R. Brooks, Randy S. Rarig, Jon A Zubieta, James W. Canary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


We report here a sensitive method for the determination of the absolute configurations of primary amines using exciton-coupled circular dichroism (ECCD). The method works on a microgram scale by derivatization of chiral amines with quinoline chromophores. Complexation of the chiral ligands with metal ion fixes the geometry of the chromophores, resulting in a twist that is governed by the asymmetric carbon configuration and steric environment of the amine. The absolute configurations of the primary amines can be interpreted from the couplets of the ECCD spectra of the derivatized complexes. Crystal structures, 2D NMR studies, and semiempirical calculations provide structural evidence for our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-189
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003



  • Chiral primary amines
  • Chirality
  • Configurational assignment
  • Exciton-coupled circular dichroism
  • Metal complexation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology

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