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It is a challenge to use acetonitrile as a cyanating agent because of the difficulty in cleaving its C-CN bond. Herein, we report a mild photo-assisted route to conduct the cyanation of transition metal nitrates using acetonitrile as the cyanating agent coupled with room-temperature C-C bond cleavage. DFT calculations and experimental observations suggest a radical-involved reaction mechanism, which excludes toxicity from free cyanide ions.


Shihui Zou, Renhong Li, Hisayoshi Kobayashi, Juanjuan Liu, Jie Fan. Photo-assisted cyanation of transition metal nitrates coupled with room temperature C-C bond cleavage of acetonitrile. Chemical communications (Cambridge, England). 2013 Mar 7;49(19):1906-8

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PMID: 23282559

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