Nitrile formation [CN(-)]

Nitrile formation (CN‾) Definition:

 

Alkyl halides (or tosylates) will react with cyanide ion to give alkyl cyanides (nitriles) in an SN2 reaction.

 

 

Nitrile formation (CN‾) Explained:

 

Here comes to backside attack of a nucleophile to substrate which means that the bond to the nucleophile in the product is always on the opposite side relative to the bond to the leaving group in the starting compound. In this reaction, the leaving group is on the right, so the nucleophile attacks from the left.