Reversible covalent interactions

Happy New Year, everyone! I am back.

There are many types of reversible covalent interactions but the one I am most curious about these days is the one between two nitrogens. I learned about it from Professor Jim Wuest ( while visiting Université de Montréal just before Christmas. Jim and his lab leverage the reversible coupling between nitroso compounds to make materials of controlled porosity. Being a small molecule guy, I am intrigued by the pair of reactions I saw in his nice Chemical Reviews account ( Why is it that a 6-membered ring is not formed in the naphthalene case? There are a couple of lessons about aromaticity and strain here, among other things. This fascinating type of N=N bonding also takes me back to some of my earlier claims about the rarity of heterocycle construction using heteroatom-heteroatom bond formation. Here it is on display. However, these heterocycles are metastable.


4 thoughts on “Reversible covalent interactions

  1. These benzofurazanes (after removing N-oxide with PPh3 reduction) are actually pretty good isosteres of a nitroaromatic compound (with lower toxicity liabilities, but slightly explosive); several of them advanced into clinical candidate molecules and their scale up routes featured in Org Process R&D journal. Typically, they would be made by bleach oxidation of o-nitroanilines, or by nitroazide thermolysis. (I think one additional reason may have been that until relatively recently benzofurazanes were underrepresented in the patent literature)

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