New insight into single phase formation of capric acid/menthol eutectic mixtures by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry
Purpose: To examine the structural changes of a eutectic mixture comprising capric acid and menthol which are commonly used in pharmaceutical applications.
Methods: A phase diagram was constructed by quantitative mixing of capric acid and menthol under controlled conditions until a single liquid phase was formed. Eutectic mixtures of capric acid: menthol at the ratios of 3:2, 1:4, 1:1, 2:3, and 1:4 were prepared. Hydrogen bond formation and conformational changes were analyzed using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Microscopic imaging was carried out to capture phase change events upon increasing temperature.
Results: Menthol confirmed the intact structure of a hexagonal ring. The high degree of broadening of the menthol O-H groups indicates hydrogen bond formation. FTIR band changes related to capric acid suggest a break-up of the methylene arrangement structure due to changes in the C-H band frequencies. The red shift encountered in C=O stretching band emphasizes hydrogen bond formation taking place between the oxygen atom of the hydroxyl group comprising the carboxylic moiety of capric acid and the hydrogen atom of menthol hydroxyl group. DSC results indicate the presence of two polymorphs of the capric acid/ menthol complex. Both exhibited crystallization and conformational change exotherms in addition to two melting endotherms as result of transformation of crystalline components to become partially crystalline due to hydrogen bond formation.
Conclusion: The interaction between capric acid and menthol results in a typical preparation of deep eutectic systems that can act as natural-based solvents in numerous pharmaceutical applications.
Keywords: Eutectic system, Capric acid, Menthol, Differential scanning calorimetry, DSC, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, FTIR
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