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Nitrilimines or nitrile amides are a class of organic compounds sharing a common functional group with the general structure R-CN-NR corresponding to an amine bonded to the N-terminus of a nitrile. The dominant structure for the parent compound nitrilimine is that of 1 in scheme 1 with a C-N triple bond and with a positive charge on nitrogen and two lone pairs and a negative charge on the terminal nitrogen. Other structures such as hypervalent 2, allene 3, allylic 4 and carbene 5 are not relevant.

Nitrilimines were first observed in the thermal decomposition of tetrazoles releasing nitrogen:[1]

Nitrilimines are 1,3-dipoles in 1,3-dipolar cycloadditions. With alkynes they generate pyrazoles.


  1. ^ Communications: The Formation of Nitrile Imines in the Thermal Breakdown of 2,5-Disubstituted Tetrazoles Rolf Huisgen Michael Seidel, Juergen Sauer, James McFarland, Guenter WallbillichJ. Org. Chem.; 1959; 24(6); 892-893 Abstract
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nitrilimine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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