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Unassigned Protons can serve as Warning Flag

October 23, 2008

When the incorrect number of directly-bonded protons are assigned to carbons, the elucidator is left with extra protons. (This can happen in situations with a highly-crowded region on a 1H NMR spectrum.) Where possible, tallying the expected number of exchangeable protons can serve as a warning flag that something is amiss.

The following carbons, shown below, were assigned as C, CH, CH2 or CH3. As such, three protons remain unassigned. Assuming the compound contains no ammonia, the carbon assignments were incorrectly done and thus should be reinvestigated.


The structure methamphetamine, shown below, illustrates that a methyl was incorrectly set to a methine.



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