Methyl trifluoromethansulfonate

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Methyl triflate
Structural formula of methyl triflate
Ball-and-stick model of methyl triflate
CAS number 333-27-7 YesY
PubChem 9526
ChemSpider 9153 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C2H3F3O3S
Molar mass 164.10 g/mol
Appearance Colourless Liquid
Density 1.496 g/mL
Melting point −64 °C (−83 °F; 209 K)
Boiling point 100 °C (212 °F; 373 K)
Solubility in water Hydrolyzes
R-phrases R10, R34
S-phrases S26, S36/37/39, S45
Main hazards Corrosive
Flash point 38 °C (100 °F; 311 K)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Methyl trifluoromethanesulfonate, commonly abbreviated MeOTf, is the organic compound with the formula CF3SO2OCH3. It is a colourless liquid that is a very powerful (and very dangerous) methylating reagent in chemistry.[1]


The compound hydrolyzes violently upon contact with water:


This compound is closely related to methyl fluorosulfonate (FSO2OCH3), which is an older and less common reagent. These compounds alkylate faster and with wider range of substrates than traditional methylating agents such as methyl iodide. One ranking of alkylating agents is (CH3)3O+ > CF3SO2OCH3 ~ FSO2OCH3 > (CH3)2SO4> CH3I. It will alkylate many functional groups that are only weakly basic such as aldehydes, amides, and nitriles. It does not methylate benzene or the bulky 2,6-di-tert-butylpyridine.[1] Its ability to methylate N-heterocycles is exploited in certain deprotection schemes.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roger W. Alder, Justin G. E. Phillips, Lijun Huang, Xuefei Huang, "Methyltrifluoromethanesulfonate" Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis 2005 John Wiley & Sons, doi:10.1002/047084289X.rm266m.pub2
  2. ^ Albert I. Meyers and Mark E. Flanagan. (1998), "2,2'-Dimethoxy-6-formylbiphenyl", Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 9: 258