Metyrapone (2-methyl-1, 2-di-3-pyridyl-1-propanone) undergoes α-cleavage upon irradiation in the solid state. The reaction occurs at the crystal surface, and the radicals formed in part recombine to give dipyridylketones, and in part add oxygen to give nicotinic acid and 3-(1-hydroxymethylethyl)pyridine. The crystals partially melt and the reacton continues until complete decomposition of the starting material.
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