Sandmeyer reaction

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Sandmeyer reaction
Named after Traugott Sandmeyer
Reaction type Substitution reaction
Organic Chemistry Portal sandmeyer-reaction
RSC ontology ID RXNO:0000021

The Sandmeyer reaction is a chemical reaction used to synthesize aryl halides from aryl diazonium salts.[1][2][3] It is named after the Swiss chemist Traugott Sandmeyer. The reaction is a method for substitution of an aromatic amino group via preparation of its diazonium salt followed by its displacement with a nucleophile, often catalyzed by copper(I) salts. The nucleophile can include halide anions, cyanide, thiols, water, and others. The reaction does not proceed well with the fluoride anion, but fluorination can be carried out using tetrafluoroborate anions (Balz–Schiemann reaction).

Reaction mechanism[edit]

The nitrous acid is usually prepared in situ from sodium nitrite and an acid. Following a 2nd protonation step, one equivalent of water is lost to form nitrogen monoxide cation i.e. the "nitrosonium ion" electrophile.

The Mechanism of the Sandmeyer Reaction

An aromatic (or heterocyclic) amine quickly reacts with a nitrite to form an aryl diazonium salt, which decomposes in the presence of copper(I) salts, such as CuCl, to form the desired aryl halide.[4][5] It is carried out at the temperature of 25-30 °C. The reaction is a radical-nucleophilic aromatic substitution.

Several improvements have been made to the standard procedures.[6][7]


The majority of variations of the Sandmeyer reactions consist of using various copper salts.[8][9] For example, using cuprous cyanide produces benzonitriles.[10] Substituting thiols or water for the copper salts generates thioethers or phenols, respectively.

The Schiemann reaction uses tetrafluoroborate and delivers the halide-substituted product, fluorobenzene, which is not obtained by the use of copper fluorides.

Sandmeyer reactions with copper salts used in catalytic amounts are also known. One bromination protocol employs a 0.2 equivalent Cu(I)/Cu(II) mixture with additional amounts of the bidentate ligand phenanthroline and phase-transfer catalyst dibenzo-18-crown-6:[11]

Catalytic Sandmeyer reaction beletskaya 2007

Amyl nitrites are also useful as reagents in a modification of the Sandmeyer reaction. The reaction of the alkyl nitrite with an aromatic amine in a halogenated solvent produces a radical aromatic species, this then abstracts a halogen atom from the solvent. For the synthesis of aryl iodides diiodomethane is used,[12][13] whereas bromoform is the solvent of choice for the synthesis of aryl bromides.[14]

Aliphatic variation[edit]

It says in the citation that:

The aliphatic version of the Sandmeyer reaction was used to prepare Batimastat and marimastat though (from 1º amino acids).


  1. ^ Traugott Sandmeyer (1884). "Ueber die Ersetzung der Amidgruppe durch Chlor in den aromatischen Substanzen". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 17 (3): 1633–1635. doi:10.1002/cber.18840170219. 
  2. ^ Traugott Sandmeyer (1884). "Ueber die Ersetzung der Amid-gruppe durch Chlor, Brom und Cyan in den aromatischen Substanzen". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 17 (4): 2650–2653. doi:10.1002/cber.188401702202. 
  3. ^ Ludwig Gattermann (1890). "Untersuchungen über Diazoverbindungen". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 23 (1): 1218–1228. doi:10.1002/cber.189002301199. 
  4. ^ J. K. Kochi (1957). "The Mechanism of the Sandmeyer and Meerwein Reactions". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 79 (11): 2942–2948. doi:10.1021/ja01568a066. 
  5. ^ H. H. Hodgson (1947). "The Sandmeyer Reaction". Chem. Rev. 40 (2): 251–277. doi:10.1021/cr60126a003. 
  6. ^ M. P. Doyle, B. Siegfried and J. F. Dellaria (1977). "Alkyl nitrite-metal halide deamination reactions. 2. Substitutive deamination of arylamines by alkyl nitrites and copper(II) halides. A direct and remarkably efficient conversion of arylamines to aryl halides". J. Org. Chem. 42 (14): 2426–2431. doi:10.1021/jo00434a017. 
  7. ^ Suzuki, N. et al. Perkins Trans. I 1987, 645.
  8. ^ Jonathan L. Hartwell (1955). "o-Chlorobromobenzene". Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 3, p. 185 
  9. ^ F. D. Gunstone and S. Horwood Tucker (1963). "1-Chloro-2,6-dinitrobenzene". Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 4, p. 160 
  10. ^ H. T. Clarke and R. R. Read (1941). "o-Tolunitrile and p-Tolunitrile". Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 1, p. 514 
  11. ^ P. Beletskaya; Alexander S. Sigeev; Alexander S. Peregudov; Pavel V. Petrovskii (2007). "Catalytic Sandmeyer Bromination". Synthesis 2007 (16): 2534–2538. doi:10.1055/s-2007-983784. 
  12. ^ W. B. Smith; O. C. Ho (1990). "Application of the isoamyl nitrite-diiodomethane route to aryl iodides". J. Org. Chem. 55 (8): 2543–2545. doi:10.1021/jo00295a056. 
  13. ^ V. Nair; S. G. Richardson (1982). "Modification of Nucleic Acid Bases via Radical Intermediates: Synthesis of Dihalogenated Purine Nucleosides". Synthesis 1982: 670–672. doi:10.1055/s-1982-29896. 
  14. ^ J. I. G. Cadogan; D. A. Roy; D. M. Smith (1966). "An alternative to the Sandmeyer reaction". J. Chem. Soc.: 1249–1250. doi:10.1039/J39660001249. 
  15. ^

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