13 new phases of the inositols, 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexahydroxycyclohexane, were found. Crystal structure determinations and thermal analyses reveal a very complex picture of phases, rotator phases and phase transitions.
Inositol, 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexahydroxycyclohexane, exists in nine stereoisomers with different crystal structures and melting points. In a previous paper on the relationship between the melting points of the inositols and the hydrogen-bonding patterns in their crystal structures [Simperler et al. (2006 ▶). CrystEngComm
8, 589], it was noted that although all inositol crystal structures known at that time contained 12 hydrogen bonds per molecule, their melting points span a large range of about 170 °C. Our preliminary investigations suggested that the highest melting point must be corrected for the effect of molecular symmetry, and that the three lowest melting points may need to be revised. This prompted a full investigation, with additional experiments on six of the nine inositols. Thirteen new phases were discovered; for all of these their crystal structures were examined. The crystal structures of eight ordered phases could be determined, of which seven were obtained from laboratory X-ray powder diffraction data. Five additional phases turned out to be rotator phases and only their unit cells could be determined. Two previously unknown melting points were measured, as well as most enthalpies of melting. Several previously reported melting points were shown to be solid-to-solid phase transitions or decomposition points. Our experiments have revealed a complex picture of phases, rotator phases and phase transitions, in which a simple correlation between melting points and hydrogen-bonding patterns is not feasible.