I'm looking for a comprehensive reference of experimental specific rotation or optical rotation data. It can be a published literature review, a free web database with API access or one that permits scraping, or even a table on a web page with references.

ChemSpider pages link to outside sources (I think only chemical suppliers) for optical rotation, but this is problematic:

  • it's unclear what molecules contain this information (not all stereoisomers do),
  • not all the product specification pages on the suppliers' websites actually contain the data,
  • the values aren't available through the ChemSpider API, and
  • it's forbidden to screen scrape ChemSpider pages.

The story seems to be similar for PubChem, though they allow scraping within reason.

For example, here is a review collecting experimental electron affinities for a large number of small molecules and elemental clusters. It's fine that this isn't web-based, because all the values are together and in bulk; writing a PDF scraper is worthwhile because there are so many entries.

Also acceptable would be a book, such as the comprehensive reference from Huber and Herzberg that contains rotational constants, bond lengths, and other constants for diatomic molecules.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for sharing that reference on electron affinities, it looks quite interesting $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2015 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ Have you already had a look at the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics? I am not too familiar with the work, so this is just a suggestion. They have many different values, if the ones you are looking for are among them, I don't know. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2016 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ The sigma-aldrich website? They provide optical rotation for most of their chiral compounds $\endgroup$
    – NotEvans.
    Jul 9, 2016 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ @pentavalentcarbon did you find an answer? $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2021 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Polydynamical at some point I discovered my dead tree copy of the Merck Index has many, but they are associated with each entry and are not in a separate table. I never did look at the HBCP or S-A website, nor did I find a "holy grail" type resource :( $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2021 at 22:58


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