Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
An azide is a N3- anion, or a reactive group in organic chemistry where a carbon substituent is attached as RN3.
The anion's structure is:
with a net charge of -1.
Some azide salts are very explosive when heated or shaken, such as NaN3, which is used in airbags.
The azide anion is toxic, inhibiting the function of cytochrome c oxidase by binding irreversibly to the heme cofactor, in a process similar to that of carbon monoxide.
Organic azides are relatively stable substituents, they act as electrophiles on the nitrogen attached to the carbon (liberating nitrogen when attacked by a nucleophile), and have electron-donating character for the neighboring carbon. Azides engage in useful reactions, such as the Staudinger Ligation or the alkyne-azide "click" addition.
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