The two phenyl rings of the biphenyl unit of the title compound, C18H13NO3, are almost coplanar [dihedral angle 6.70 (9)°]. The nitrophenyl ring, on the other hand, is significantly twisted out of the plane of the these two rings, making dihedral angles of 68.83 (4)° with the middle ring and 62.86 (4)° with the end ring. The nitro group is twisted by 12.1 (2)° out of the plane of the phenyl ring to which it is attached. Key indicators: single-crystal X-ray study; T = 173 K; mean σ(C–C) = 0.002 A° ; R factor = 0.040; wR factor = 0.118; data-to-parameter ratio = 12.8
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