A High Energy X-ray Diffraction Study of Amorphous Indomethacin

C. J. Benmore, S. R. Benmore, A. D. Edwards, C. D. Shrader, M. H. Bhat, Brian Cherry, P. Smith, F. Gozzo, C. Shi, D. Smith, J. L. Yarger, S. R. Byrn, J. K.R. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Amorphous pharmaceuticals often possess a wide range of molecular conformations and bonding arrangements. The x-ray pair distribution function (PDF) method is a powerful technique for the characterization of variations in both intra-molecular and inter-molecular packing arrangements. Here, the x-ray PDF of amorphous Indomethacin is shown to be particularly sensitive to the preferred orientations of the chlorobenzyl ring found in isomers in the crystalline state. In some cases, the chlorobenzyl ring has no preferred torsional angle in the amorphous form, while in others evidence of distinct isomer orientations are observed. Amorphous samples with no preferred torsion angles of the chlorobenzyl ring are found to favor enhanced inter-molecular hydrogen bonding, and this is reflected in the intensity of the first sharp diffraction peak. These significant variations in structure rule out amorphous Indomethacin as a possible standard for x-ray PDF measurements. At high humidity, time resolved PDF's for >40 h reveal water molecules forming hydrogen bonds with Indomethacin molecules. A simple linear hydrogen bond model indicates that water molecules in the wet amorphous form have similar hydrogen bond strengths to those found between Indomethacin dimers or chains in the dry amorphous form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-824
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Glass
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Pair distribution function
  • Structure
  • X-ray powder diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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