Schiff bases derived from hydroxyaryl aldehydes: molecular and crystal structure, tautomerism, quinoid effect, coordination compounds

Anita Blagus, Dominik Cinčić, Tomislav Friščić, Branko Kaitner, Vladimir Stilinović


During the last 50 years a vast number of structural studies on Schiff bases derived from hydroxyaryl aldehydes and their coordination compounds have been undertaken. In this review we present a systematic and brief overview of the most important discoveries and achievements accomplished in this field. The occurrence of Schiff bases (and their complexes) derived from nine most commonly used hydroxyaryl aldehydes in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) has been investigated. Keto-enol tautomerism and intramolecular hydrogen bonding in salicylaldimines and naphthaldimines is discussed, with a comment of the most common errors in determining the correct tautomeric form. Also, the interrelationship of crystal packing and the substituents on the Schiff base is studied. Finally, we give a short overview of conformational differences between free Schiff bases and Schiff bases bonded to metal ions as well as some structural characteristics of Schiff base metal complexes.


Schiff bases; Schiff base complexes; tautomerism; quinoid effect; supramolecular interaction

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