A Simple and Inexpensive Synthetic Method for Alkylcyanobiphenyls
4′-substituted-4-cyanobiphenyl1 has been widely used in the manufacture of twisted nematic display devices. This class of compounds offers several advantages, such as their moisture resistance, photo chemical stabilities, low-threshold voltages, and high speed of switching times. Until now, the availability of this material to small laboratories for testing purposes has been very limited, and it has not been amendable to synthesis by simple chemical reactions. As an alternative to the original cumbersome method, a very simple high yield synthetic method has been developed. This method utilizes very inexpensive starting materials and chemical reagents, and can be used for making gram quantities to multi kilo lots.
4-alkylbiphenyl is reacted with oxalylchloride in presence of aluminum chloride to yield pure 4-biphenylcarboxylic acid chloride. This acid chloride is converted to carboxamide with ammonia. The resultant amide can be readily converted to 4′-n-alkyl-4-cyanobiphenyl with a quantitative yield of high purity.
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