Nitrilium

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The general structures of nitrilium ions

A nitrilium ion is a nitrile that has been protonated, [RCNH]+, or alkylated, [RCNR′]+.[1]

Synthesis[edit]

Nitriles are only weakly basic[2] and are poor nucleophiles, but they will attack very reactive electrophiles such as carbocations.[3]

Nitrilium salts can be prepared by reacting nitriles with trialkyloxonium salts. The nitrilium ions thus formed can then be reduced to secondary amines with sodium borohydride in diglyme. This is a convenient route to secondary amines of the form RCH2—NH—R′.[4]

As intermediates[edit]

Nitrilium ions are believed to be intermediates in the hydrolysis of nitriles,[5] the Beckmann rearrangement, the Friedel-Crafts cyclization of amines to isoquinolines,[6] the Schmidt reaction with ketones,[7] and the Ugi, Ritter and Passerini reactions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ IUPAC Gold Book: nitrilium ions
  2. ^ Clayden, Jonathan; Greeves, Nick; Warren, Stuart; Wothers, Peter (2001). Organic Chemistry (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-19-850346-0. 
  3. ^ Clayden, Jonathan; Greeves, Nick; Warren, Stuart; Wothers, Peter (2001). Organic Chemistry (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 436. ISBN 978-0-19-850346-0. 
  4. ^ March, J.; Smith, M. (2007). Advanced Organic Chemistry (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 1814. ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1. 
  5. ^ Clayden, Jonathan; Greeves, Nick; Warren, Stuart; Wothers, Peter (2001). Organic Chemistry (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 294. ISBN 978-0-19-850346-0. 
  6. ^ March, J.; Smith, M. (2007). Advanced Organic Chemistry (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 716. ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1. 
  7. ^ March, J.; Smith, M. (2007). Advanced Organic Chemistry (6th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 1613. ISBN 978-0-471-72091-1.