Organic Chemistry Portal



Synthesis of Isonitriles from N-Substituted Formamides Using Triphenylphosphine and Iodine

Xia Wang, Qing-Gang Wang, Qun-Li Luo*

*Key Laboratory of Applied Chemistry of Chongqing Municipality, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, P. R. of China, Email:

X. Wang, Q.-G. Wang, Q.-L. Luo, Synthesis, 2015, 47, 49-54.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1379111


Treatment of N-substituted formamides with triphenylphosphine and molecular iodine quickly produces the corresponding isocyanides in high yields under ambient conditions in the presence of a tertiary amine. This convenient synthetic procedure employs readily available and low-cost reagents and mild reaction conditions for the synthesis of various alkyl and aryl isocyanides.

see article for more examples

Key Words

isonitriles, formamides, dehydration, triphenylphosphine, iodine

ID: J66-Y2015