The building blocks of cellulose: the intrinsic conformational structures of cellobiose, its epimer, lactose, and their singly hydrated complexes.
A combination of vibrational spectroscopy conducted under molecular beam conditions and quantum chemical calculation has established the intrinsic three-dimensional structures of the cellulose disaccharide and, focusing on the critical beta1,4-linkage at the nonreducing end of the growing cellulose polymer, its C-4' epimer. Left to their own devices they both adopt a cis (anti-phi/syn-psi) glycosidic configuration, supported in the epimer by strong, cooperative inter-ring hydrogen bonding. In...Expand abstract
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