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Rotamers are stereoisomers produced by rotation (twisting) about σ bonds and are often rapidly interconverting at room temperature. Xylitol-massively produced sweetener-(2R,3r,4S)-pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol) forms rotamers from the linear conformer by rotation of a xylitol fragment around the C2-C3 bond (rotamer 1) or the C3-C4 bond (rotamer 2). The rotamers form two distinguishable structures. Small differences in geometry of rotamers of the main carbon chain were confirmed by theoretical calculations; however, they were beyond the capabilities of the X-ray powder diffraction technique due to the almost identical unit cell parameters. In the case of rotamers of similar compounds, the rotations occurred mostly within hydroxyl groups likewise rotations in L-arabitol and D-arabitol, which are discussed in this work. Our results, supported by theoretical calculations, showed that energetic differences are slightly higher for rotamers with rotations within hydroxyl groups instead of a carbon chain.


Monika Wanat, Maura Malinska, Malgorzata Kucia, Rafal R Sicinski, Krzysztof Woźniak. Rotamers in Crystal Structures of Xylitol, D-Arabitol and L-Arabitol. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Mar 31;23(7)

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PMID: 35409233

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