Formation - Thermal decomposition via hydrazone compound

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NOTE: Important charges and non-bonding electrons are shown throughout the animation except during the transition phase

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Carbenes can be made from diazoalkanes if the diazoalkane is just an intermediate in the reaction and not the starting material. Good starting materials for these reactions are tosylhydrazones (mesylhydrazone is used in the example above for simplicity), which produce transient diazo compounds by base-catalysed elimination of toluenesulfinate (methylsulfinate). The diazo compound is not normally isolated and decomposes to the carbene on heating.

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