Phenyl azide

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Phenyl azide
Skeletal formula
Ball-and-stick model
IUPAC name
Phenyl azide
Other names
622-37-7 YesY
ChemSpider 62529 N
EC Number 210-730-3
Jmol 3D model Interactive image
MeSH C014747
PubChem 69319
Molar mass 119.13 g·mol−1
Appearance Pale yellow, oily liquid
Boiling point 49 to 50 °C (120 to 122 °F; 322 to 323 K) at 5 mmHg
not appreciable
Main hazards explosive
Related compounds
Related compounds
Diazonium cation
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Phenyl azide is an organic compound with the formula C6H5N3. It is one of the prototypical organic azides. It has a pungent odor. The structure consists of a linear azide substituent bound to a phenyl group. The C-N=N angle is approximately 120°.


Phenyl azide is prepared by the diazotization of phenylhydrazine with nitrous acid:[1]

C6H5NHNH2 + HNO2 → C6H5N3 + 2 H2O

Aryl iodides bearing electron-withdrawing substituents undergo metathesis with sodium azide in the presence of Cu(I), sodium ascorbate, and N,N'-dimethylethane-1,2-diamine (DMEA):

RC6H4I + NaN3 → RC6H4N3 + NaI

Chemical reactions[edit]

C6H5N3 is used to make heterocycles via cycloaddition to alkenes and especially alkynes, particularly those bearing electronegative substituents. It reacts with triphenylphosphine to give the Staudinger reagent C6H5NP(C6H5)3. Thermolysis induces loss of N2 to give the highly reactive phenylnitrene C6H5N.[2]

Phenyl azide and its analogues undergo the azide alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition, a classic example of click chemistry. For example, phenyl azide and phenylacetylene give diphenyl triazole.


Because of the potential for explosion,[1] a protective blast shield is recommended during purification and handling. Distillation temperatures should be as low a possible. Organic Syntheses recommends a vacuum of 5mm Hg to give a boiling point of "66–68 °C/21 mm. with a bath temperature of 70–75 °C."[1] The pure substance may be stored in the dark, cold, and even then the shelf-life is only weeks.


  1. ^ a b c R. O. Lindsay and C. F. H. Allen (1955). "Phenyl azide". Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 3, p. 710 
  2. ^ W. H. Pearson, P. S. Ramamoorthyin "Phenyl Azide" Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (Ed: L. Paquette) 2004, J. Wiley & Sons, New York. doi:10.1002/047084289.