The Pfitzner–Moffatt oxidation, sometimes referred to as simply the Moffatt oxidation, is a chemical reaction which describes the oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols by dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) activated with a carbodiimide, such as dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC). The resulting alkoxysulfonium ylide rearranges to generate aldehydes and ketones, respectively.
This reaction has been largely abandoned for the Swern oxidation, which gives higher yields with fewer side products. The Moffatt oxidation yields urea biproducts that are often difficult to remove.
Reaction mechanism is as follows.
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