Research Papers

Single crystal, Hirshfeld surface and theoretical analysis of methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, a common cosmetic, drug and food preservative-Experiment versus theory

by Abeer Sharfalddin, Bambar Davaasuren, Abdul-Hamid Emwas, Mariusz Jaremko, Łukasz Jaremko, Mostafa Hussien
PLOS ONE Year: 2020 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239200

Extra Information

Research article


Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, commonly known as methyl paraben, is an anti-microbial agent used in cosmetics and personal-care products, and as a food preservative. In this study, the single crystal X-ray structure of methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate was determined at 120 K. The crystal structure comprises three methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate molecules condensed to a 3D framework via extensive intermolecular hydrogen bonding. Hirshfeld surface analysis was performed to determine the intermolecular interactions and the crystal packing. In addition, computational calculations of methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate were obtained using the Gaussian 09W program, and by quantum mechanical methods, Hartree Fock (HF) and Density Functional Theory (DFT) with the 6-311G(d,p) basis set. The experimental FT-IR spectrum strongly correlated with the computed vibrational spectra (R2 = 0.995). The energies of the frontier orbitals, HOMO and LUMO, were used to calculate the chemical quantum parameters. The lower band gap value (ΔE) indicates the molecular determinants underlying the known pharmaceutical activity of the molecule.