Posts Tagged ‘migration’

The Curtius rearrangement. One step or two?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The Curtius reaction is represented in most chemistry texts and notes as following path (a) below. It is one of a general class of thermally induced rearrangement which might be described as elimination/migration (in a sense similar to this ring contraction migration/elimination), in this case implicating a nitrene intermediate if the two steps occur consecutively. Wikipedia is normally very much on the ball with this sort of thing, and a comment about the reaction mechanism there notes that current evidence prefers route (b), avoiding nitrene intermediacy (and hence formally removing this from examples of nitrene reactions).