In the recent years, in addition to the more traditional methods based on X-ray diffraction and mechanistic considerations, the problem of the configurational assignment of optically active sulfoxides has been approached with spectroscopic methods. In this review the methods based on the use of NMR spectroscopy and electronic circular dichroism are described, as well as the emerging approaches based on the analysis of vibrational CD spectra, on the ab initio calculation of the optical rotation and on the cholesteric induction in nematic solvents. The advantage and limitations of each approach are discussed with a major attention to their reliability and practicality.
Keywords: Absolute configuration, sulfoxides, CD, optical rotatory power, NMR, VCD
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