Open Access Research article

Tautomerism of 4,4-dihydroxy-1,1-naphthaldazine studied by experimental and theoretical methods

Anife Ahmedova1, Svilen P Simeonov2, Vanya B Kurteva2 and Liudmil Antonov2*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1, J. Bourchier blvd., Sofia, 1164, Bulgaria

2 Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev str.; bl.9, Sofia, BG-1113, Bulgaria

For all author emails, please log on.

Chemistry Central Journal 2013, 7:29  doi:10.1186/1752-153X-7-29

Published: 11 February 2013



The title compound belongs to the class of bis-azomethine pigments. On the basis of comparative studies on similar structures, insight into the complex excited state dynamics of such compounds has been gained. It has been shown, for example, that only compounds that possess hydroxyl groups are fluorescent, and that the possibility for cis-trans isomerisation and/or bending motions of the central bis-azomethine fragment allows for different non-radiative decay pathways.


The compound, 4,4'-dihydroxy-1,1'-naphthaldazine (1) was synthesized and characterized by means of spectroscopic and quantum chemical methods. The tautomerism of 1 was studied in details by steady state UV-Vis spectroscopy and time resolved flash photolysis. The composite shape of the absorption bands was computationally resolved into individual subbands. Thus, the molar fraction of each component and the corresponding tautomeric constants were estimated from the temperature dependent spectra in ethanol.


According to the spectroscopic data the prevalent tautomer is the diol form, which is in agreement with the theoretical (HF and DFT) predictions. The experimental data show, however, that all three tautomers coexist in solution even at room temperature. Relevant theoretical results were obtained after taking into account the solvent effect by the so-called supermolecule-PCM approach. The TD-DFT B3LYP/6-31 G** calculated excitation energies confirm the assignment of the individual bands obtained from the derivative spectroscopy.

4,4-dihydroxy-1,1-naphthaldazine; Flash photolysis; Quantum chemical calculations; Tautomerism; Tautomeric constants

Graphical abstract