A combined experimental and computational study was undertaken to establish the solid-state forms of β-resorcylic acid (2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid). The experimental search resulted in nine crystalline forms: two concomitantly crystallizing polymorphs, five novel solvates (with acetic acid, dimethyl sulfoxide, 1,4-dioxane, and two with N,N-dimethyl formamide), in addition to the known hemihydrate and a new monohydrate. Form II°, the thermodynamically stable polymorph at room temperature, was found to be the dominant crystallization product. A new, enantiotropically related polymorph (form I) was obtained by desolvation of certain solvates, sublimation experiments, and via a thermally induced solid−solid transformation of form II° above 150 °C. To establish their structural features, interconversions, and relative stability, all solid-state forms were characterized with thermal, spectroscopic, X-ray crystallographic methods, and moisture-sorption analysis. The hemihydrate is very stable, while the five solvates and the monohydrate are rather unstable phases that occur as crystallization intermediates. Complementary computational work confirmed that the two experimentally observed β-resorcylic acid forms I and II° are the most probable polymorphs and supported the experimental evidence for form I being disordered in the p-OH proton position. These consistent outcomes suggest that the most practically important features of β-resorcylic acid crystallization under ambient conditions have been established; however, it appears impractical to guarantee that no additional metastable solid-state form could be found.
An extensive experimental screen, coupled with a computational study, revealed seven new solid-state forms of β-resorcylic acid. The known, stable polymorph II° shows a reversible phase transformation to the new, kinetically stable, probably disordered high temperature form I. The study provides a consistent picture of the solid-state of β-resorcylic acid.