The structure and interactions of oxygenated aromatic molecules are of atmospheric interest due to their toxicity and as precursors of aerosols. Here, we present the analysis of 4-methyl-2-nitrophenol (4MNP) using chirped pulse and Fabry–Pérot Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy in combination with quantum chemical calculations. The rotational, centrifugal distortion, and 14N nuclear quadrupole coupling constants of the lowest-energy conformer of 4MNP were determined as well as the barrier to methyl internal rotation. The latter has a value of 106.4456(8) cm−1, significantly larger than those from related molecules with only one hydroxyl or nitro substituent in the same para or meta positions, respectively, as 4MNP. Our results serve as a basis to understand the interactions of 4MNP with atmospheric molecules and the influence of the electronic environment on methyl internal rotation barrier heights.
- ab initio and density functional theory calculations
- internal rotation
- large-amplitude motion
- nuclear quadrupole coupling
- rotational spectroscopy