Cadet's fuming liquid

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Space-filling model of cacodyl
Ball-and-stick model of cacodyl oxide

Cadet's fuming liquid was the first organometallic compound to be synthesized. In 1760, the French chemist Louis Claude Cadet de Gassicourt (1731-1799) synthesized a red liquid by the reaction of potassium acetate with arsenic trioxide.[1]

4 KCH3COO + As2O3 → As2(CH3)4 + 2 K2CO3 + 2 CO2 + 1/2 O2

The liquid contains a mixture of cacodyl and cacodyl oxide. These were the first organometallic substances prepared, so Cadet can be regarded as the father of organometallic chemistry.[2]


  1. ^ Seyferth, D. (2001). "Cadet's Fuming Arsenical Liquid and the Cacodyl Compounds of Bunsen". Organometallics. 20 (8): 1488–1498. doi:10.1021/om0101947. 
  2. ^ Jaouen, G. (2006). Bioorganometallics: Biomolecules, Labeling, Medicine. Wiley. ISBN 3-527-30990-X.