On the chiroptical properties of racemic crystals

Bart Kahr, Alexander T. Martin, Karl Heinz Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a recent letter on the “Optical activity from racemates”, discussed at the 16th International Conference on Chiroptical Spectroscopy in Rennes (June 2017), scientists claimed to have measured the circular dichroism of colored, racemic crystals of two transition metal complexes, observations that “serve to correct a clear deficit in our understanding of the optical properties of racemates.” In fact, there is no deficit in our understanding of the optical properties of racemates. Moreover, the measurements presented are unconvincing as evidence of circular dichroism measured in anisotropic crystals and therefore do not inform our understanding of the specific crystals investigated, or racemates generally speaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Mueller matrix
  • circular birefringence
  • circular dichroism
  • optical activity
  • optical rotation
  • racemates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry


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